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    Drug options

August 3, 2016 | Jonathan Gavras, M.D., FCCP

The CREATES Act: A viable solution for more affordable prescription drug choices 

Lawmakers are fighting for more affordable prescription drug choices for families. The CREATES Act can pave the way, and Prime Therapeutics is on board.

How can the CREATES Act help?


July 20, 2016 | Cathy Starner, PharmD, BCPS

America’s opioid epidemic: Part 5 — the future of safer opioid use

The opioid crisis is staggering, but steps are being taken in the right direction. What will tomorrow hold for safer opioid use?

Important work being done on the opioid front


July 12, 2016 | Cathy Starner

America’s opioid epidemic: Part 4 — fighting overuse through legislation, advocacy and political action

Solving the opioid crisis goes beyond the private sector. To drive meaningful change, health care, government and industry groups all have to work together.  

Evidence-based policies that could help combat the crisis


July 8, 2016 | Cathy Starner

America’s opioid epidemic: Part 3 — strategies for curbing abuse

Combating the opioid crisis requires a full set of tools — and proof that they work. See how the research stacks up. 

Strategies to keep members safe and control the total cost of care


July 5, 2016 | Cathy Starner

America’s opioid epidemic: Part 2 — adding it up

To address the problem, we first have to gauge it. Prime’s researchers have worked to pinpoint who’s at highest risk for harm from controlled substances, such as opioids, and how this use potentially impacts the total cost of care. 

How can plan sponsors find high-risk users, and how does use impact the cost of care?


June 28, 2016 | Cathy Starner

America’s opioid epidemic: Part 1 — diagnosing the problem

Opioid drugs are killing more Americans than ever. Every health care stakeholder must take action. Prime explores the ins and outs of opioid overuse and management in our latest five-part series.

Who's using opioids, and who can help curb this deadly trend?


April 28, 2016 | Kevin Bowen

What can drug therapy tell us about severe hypoglycemic events?

Hypoglycemia can trigger serious symptoms, such as impaired vision, seizures and unconsciousness.
To better understand if and how emergency department visits for hypoglycemia are related to diabetes types and drug regimens, our team studied data from nearly 4 million members. 

What we learned | Study poster


April 26, 2016 | Cathy Starner

Can alerts at the pharmacy counter help curb opioid use?

Opioid misuse has emerged as an epidemic. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has implemented an opioid overutilization monitoring system. But is it enough? My team and I recently explored whether additional opportunity to curb opioid use existed. 

What we learned | Study poster


April 22, 2016 | Cathy Starner

Taken together, triple threat drugs prove dangerous — and costly

As administrators of prescription drug programs, pharmacy benefit managers can play an important role in helping prevent opioid overdose deaths. Prime reviewed data from 15 million members to study the impact of “Triple Threat” drug use.

What we learned | Study poster


March 7, 2016 | Patrick Gleason

Coupons prove costly across the health system

Higher costs are probably the last thing that comes to mind when most people think of coupons. For insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), however, coupons used on non-preferred drugs are contributing to escalating health care costs. That’s why I focused on this topic for my presentation at the annual the specialty-focused conference of the Pharmaceutical Management Association’s (sPCMA) conference on Feb. 8, 2016.

Presentation recap


Dec. 3, 2015 | Prime Therapeutics

An evidence-based approach to solving the opioid epidemic

Prescription drugs are an essential part of effective health care. But misuse, abuse, addiction and overdose can transform some medicines, notably opioids, into a dangerous public health concern. Prime’s director of health outcomes, Pat Gleason, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, collaborated with a diverse group of experts to author a report outlining an evidence-based response to the nation’s opioid epidemic.

Report summary


Nov. 11, 2015 | Kevin Bowen

Beyond PSCK9 prices: How valuable is coronary heart disease event prevention? 

With prices topping $14,000 per patient, per year, PSCK9 inhibitors have been dominating the headlines. But proactively managing care is just as important to controlling costs. When members who could benefit from cholesterol-lowering drug therapy aren’t being treated optimally, or at all, they’re at greater risk for costly coronary heart disease events.

Study analysis


Nov. 9, 2015 | Patrick Gleason

Another specialty blockbuster takes off: Analyzing Ibrance use, cost post-approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Ibrance in February 2015 to treat a certain type of breast cancer in postmenopausal women. At a cost of $476 per capsule, this latest specialty blockbuster has the potential to increase pharmacy costs for all stakeholders — not just people facing breast cancer. To learn what impact Ibrance could have on pharmacy benefit costs, our research team analyzed claims data from 18.6 million commercial and Medicare members. 

Study analysis


July 21, 2015 | Prime Therapeutics

As high-cost cholesterol drugs loom, study finds statins underused

To determine appropriate coverage of the new PCSK9 inhibitors (Proprotein Convertase Subtilisin/Kexin type 9) drugs, Prime analyzed its claims data and confirmed current statin treatments were not being used or adhered to as guidelines recommend. Adherence to statins is a long-standing national problem which is well studied and documented. Not surprisingly, Prime’s analysis validates there is a significant opportunity to optimize statin use even for members who may be eligible for PCSK9s.

Study analysis


Prime Therapeutics | June 17, 2015

Drug Watch List debuts online

You can now access Prime’s Drug Watch List online. The list identifies potential blockbuster drugs and projects potential financial impacts. The list — which we’ll update monthly — provides early, actionable intelligence about the use and financial impact of high-cost drugs awaiting U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval.

Drug Watch List


Feb. 24, 2015 | Prime Therapeutics

REPORT: The economic viability of a U.S. biosimilars industry

A new report sponsored by Prime Therapeutics and authored by health economist Alex Brill suggests the market for biosimilars may not be as robust as many hope it will be. Unlike generic drugs, which significantly impacted the traditional pharmacy market with their cost savings, biosimilars face a number of hurdles.

Report summary | Full report


 June 9, 2014 | Prime Therapeutics

Prime’s insights take an international stage

Passports in hand, Prime’s clinical researchers departed last week for the 19th annual meeting of the International Society for Pharmacoeconomics and Outcomes Research (ISPOR). Prime’s team presented two studies, offering new insights on the important topics of specialty pharmacy costs and medication adherence:

  • Understanding the pharmacy costs related to treating breast cancer
  • Assessing the impact of provider mailings on medication adherence in the Medicare Part D population

Poster session summary