ST. LOUIS, Sept. 8, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Express Scripts (NASDAQ: ESRX) today launched its Inflammatory Conditions Care Value Program℠, a comprehensive approach to control costs and improve care for people with inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis and Crohn's Disease.
Through the combination of indication-specific formulary management and refunds for early discontinuation of therapy, this new program is the nation's most comprehensive approach to better align a drug's price with the value that drug provides a patient.
"Painful inflammatory conditions like rheumatoid arthritis can cripple patients and obliterate payer budgets," said Glen Stettin, MD, Senior Vice President and Chief Innovation Officer at Express Scripts. "By finding creative ways to take better care of patients and protect our clients' budgets, Express Scripts is uniquely tackling one of the biggest health challenges facing our country today."
Approximately ten million Americans live with an inflammatory condition. The biologic medications used to treat these conditions became the country's costliest therapy class in 2015, representing 9.8 percent of all U.S. pharmacy spending. Express Scripts forecasts that, left unchecked, total U.S. spending on these medications will nearly double from 2015 to 2018.
Superior, Specialized Care for Patients
The program provides patients access to comprehensive and clinically appropriate treatment options, while surrounding patients with specialized care from the Accredo® specialty pharmacy's Rheumatoid Arthritis and Inflammatory Disease Therapeutic Resource Center®, where patients' average medication adherence rate is 8 percent higher than what similar patients achieve when filling the same medications from retail pharmacies.
Accredo supports patients from their initial prescription through highly specialized pharmacy and nursing care. It offers thorough gap-in-care intervention outreach, proactive therapy-effectiveness assessments, and extensive patient training and education, all of which drive better adherence and health outcomes.
"Specialized care greatly matters for patients with inflammatory conditions," said Dr. Stettin. "In the same way patients go to a rheumatologist for arthritis, they should work with expert pharmacists who uniquely understand the illness and how best to treat it. Our Therapeutic Resource Centers provide world-class care, ensuring everyone gets the most out of their treatment."
Early Discontinuation Refunds
An average 30-day prescription for a medication to treat an inflammatory condition currently costs U.S. plan sponsors $3,036. Between 21 and 36 percent of patients discontinue these medications within the first 90 days. In these instances, the patients receive minimal health benefit for the medication but employers are still burdened with the high cost of those initial prescription fills.
As part of the Inflammatory Conditions Care Value Program, Express Scripts is providing a unique savings guarantee, refunding participating plan sponsors up to $6,000 if a patient discontinues any preferred anti-inflammatory medication within the first 90 days. While Express Scripts has previously offered refunds for early discontinuation of a single medication, this new reimbursement approach is the country's first value-based refund to span multiple preferred medications that treat a group of diseases.
"The high price for these medications has always been a budgetary challenge, but one of employers' growing frustrations is paying for an expensive medication that doesn't ultimately help a patient get healthier," said Dr. Stettin. "By sharing risk and pursuing novel solutions, Express Scripts is minimizing our clients' financial exposure if a patient needs to switch medications or discontinue treatment early."
More Precise, Indication-Based Drug Management
Inflammatory diseases comprise several very different types of conditions, from rheumatoid arthritis to dermatological conditions like psoriasis, to inflammatory bowel conditions like Crohn's disease. Because the industry has historically constructed formularies to cover the entire range of inflammatory conditions, many of the medications that are narrowly indicated for one or two specific conditions have not been able to compete effectively with the two major nonspecific anti-inflammatory medications, which together currently represent 73 percent of the U.S. market share for this therapy class.
As part of the Inflammatory Conditions Care Value Program, Express Scripts will now manage a formulary category around each individual inflammatory condition. Niche, single-indication products will be able to compete head-to-head with the nonspecific products, and this more precise approach to formulary management will enable Express Scripts to leverage the additional competition to make this therapy class more affordable for participating plans.
Express Scripts is a pioneer in indication-level management of drugs, which is a core component of our existing Oncology Care Value Program℠. Rigorous clinical documentation ensures the appropriate therapy option is used and patients get the medication they need. As more treatment options become available, the opportunities increase to drive competition and drive down costs.
All patients stable on their current therapy will continue to have access to the medication they are currently taking.
The Express Scripts SafeGuardRx Solutions
The Inflammatory Conditions Care Value Program, which is a free and optional solution for Express Scripts clients, will be implemented January 1, 2017. It is the sixth and latest addition to the Express Scripts SafeGuardRx suite of custom solutions:
- Announced last week, the Diabetes Care Value Program℠ will enable patients to fill 90-day diabetes medication prescriptions at a quality-based pharmacy network, while guaranteeing that payers' future spend on diabetes medications will remain below a per-patient cap.
- The Hepatitis Cure Value Program® successfully lowered the cost of curative hepatitis C treatments by nearly 50% and opened up access to previously untreated patients. It continues to deliver high cure rates and savings.
- The Cholesterol Care Value Program℠ uses a rigorous clinical review process and specialist pharmacist support through the Accredo® specialty pharmacy to ensure that the new PCSK9 inhibitors are accessible when clinically appropriate, while also protecting plan sponsors from incurring unnecessary cost for the majority of patients with high cholesterol who can be successfully treated with more affordable statins that are proven effective in preventing heart attacks and strokes.
- The Oncology Care Value Program introduced indication-based formulary pricing for the first time to help better correlate a drug's price to the value it is likely to provide a patient.
- The Express Scripts Inflation Protection Program is shielding participating plans from the full cost impact of excessive year-over-year price increases on brand drugs.
About Express Scripts
Express Scripts puts medicine within reach of tens of millions of people by aligning with plan sponsors, taking bold action and delivering patient-centered care to make better health more affordable and accessible.
Headquartered in St. Louis, Express Scripts provides integrated pharmacy benefit management services, including network-pharmacy claims processing, home delivery pharmacy care, specialty pharmacy care, specialty benefit management, benefit-design consultation, drug utilization review, formulary management, and medical and drug data analysis services. Express Scripts also distributes a full range of biopharmaceutical products and provides extensive cost-management and patient-care services.
For more information, visit Lab.Express-Scripts.com or follow @ExpressScripts on Twitter.
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SOURCE Express Scripts