PrimeNet, Inc. introduces PrimeNet
Tom Kear, Executive
Annual increases of 10% to 16% in the costs of prescription drug
programs continue to attract the attention of the Personnel Departments
in companies throughout the region. Frequently the question is asked,
вЂњWhat are the highest costs components of the prescription
Approximately 100,000 prescriptions in a recent review confirms
the continuation of trends observed over the last few years. Previously,
in this space, we have presented specific factors which contribute
to the increasing prescription drug costs. Now we are examining
the effect those factors produce.
Brand name drugs continue to have a disproportionate impact on
program costs. While brand name drugs account for approximately
65% of all prescriptions, they account for about 85% of the plan
costs1. This translates to an average of $86 for a 30 day supply
of brand name prescription, versus $39 for a generic.
Ten of the drugs, or one half of one percent of all drugs prescribed
in this study account for 12% of the number of prescriptions and
22% of plan costs. Those ten drugs are #1 Lipitor, #2 Prilosec,
#3 Previcid, #4 Claritin, #5 Celebrex, #6 Zoloft, #7 Zocor, #8 Zithromax,
#9 Imitrex, #10 Prozac. The average cost for a 30 day prescription
of these 10 drugs was $152. This compares to an overall average
of $55 for all 30 day prescriptions.
When evaluating therapeutic drug classes, the top 10 classes (8%
of all drug classes listed) represent 41% of all prescriptions and
58% of plan cost. The top 3 classes (2% of all drug classes listed)
consist of #1 Gastro-Intestinal drugs, #2 Lipid lowering drugs and
#3 Anti-Depressants. These 3 classes account for 14% of all prescriptions
and 26% of plan costs.
10% of those participating in the program account for 29% of all
prescriptions and 42% of plan costs. Average monthly cost per participant
in this group is approximately 9 times the average monthly cost
per participant of the remaining 90% of the plan members.
1. Plan Cost вЂ“ All cost comparisons are based on amounts
billed by the dispensing pharmacy