Better Manage Employee Medication Costs
Medications prescribed to employees and their dependents contribute significantly to costs associated with health plans administered by self-insured employers.
Unfortunately, the full impact is often underestimated. Unacknowledged variables often compound the direct costs of medications prescribed and filled. What about expenses related to:
Avoidable side effects, leading to excess utilization of the ED or urgent care – or even admission to the hospital?
Example: Consider an employee taking a medication for hypertension that triggers dizziness and lightheadedness – which causes the individual to fall and break a wrist. Costs to treat the fracture and provide physical therapy significantly compound the cost of the original prescription.
Repeat doctor visits when the initial prescription or dose doesn’t produce the desired result?
Example: Providers often resort to trial-and-error approaches with antidepressants. They prescribe the latest, most likely medication. If it doesn’t work after several weeks, they schedule a follow up and increase the dose. If symptoms still don’t improve, they see that patient again and change the drug – and repeat these steps until they find a therapy that works (which may take months and many visits).
Lack of therapeutic benefit causing the employee’s condition to remain untreated?
Example: An employee might have suffered a heart attack and is prescribed Warfarin to prevent future blockages in blood vessels. Some patients don’t respond to this drug, rendering it ineffective in helping to prevent another heart attack or possible health crisis.
Leading healthcare providers use pharmacogenomic (PGx) testing to help uncover potential adverse drug reactions and optimize treatment plans. Individuals may metabolize a specific medication too quickly, too slowly, or not at all. These variables may mean the medication doesn’t deliver the anticipated response (e.g., pain relief, lower LDL-cholesterol levels) or triggers undesirable or dangerous side effects (e.g., toxicity, heart arrhythmias, dizziness.).
AccessDx PGx panels assess a targeted range of individual genes and genetic variants – based on current, evidence-based information – to help providers avoid potential drug-gene interactions. Providers can incorporate this information with other clinical data to assist in selecting the best medications to deliver results faster (reducing total costs related to prolonged treatment or ineffective therapies).