Taking action to curb rising drug costs
Prescription drugs are common and often costly. In fact, nearly 60 percent of adults in the U.S. between the age of 18 and 64 reported being prescribed at least one medication within the previous year, and 29 percent of those noted they are not taking the drugs as prescribed due to costs. Blue Cross and Blue Shield (BCBS) companies across the country are taking steps to help lower drug costs for members and improve members’ experience with pharmacy benefits so people do not have to choose between their health and other expenses. The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and 18 independent Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies announced last year their investment in CivicaScript, a subsidiary of nonprofit drug maker Civica Rx, to help ensure Americans can access the prescription drugs they need at a price they can afford by developing and manufacturing multiple generic drugs.
Now, five BCBS companies – Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Shield of California, Highmark Inc. and Independence Blue Cross – have invested in Evio Pharmacy Solutions, an innovative new company aimed at combating drug costs and improving the patient experience with medications.
The company will use data from the five investor health plans to collect real-world evidence on drug performance across specific patient types and with certain comorbidities. By analyzing claims trends based on more than 20 million members, Evio plans to improve medication affordability as well as patient outcomes and experiences. Outcomes-based contracts between drug makers and insurance companies will encourage physicians to offer patients the medications that work best for their individual circumstances while improving costs and quality of care.
"We will derive greater evidence-based insights from expanded data, capabilities and resources, and implement new approaches. We will form innovative collaborations across the value chain and vendor community—all to ensure the right medications get to every patient simply, affordably and with superior clinical outcomes," said Hank Schlissberg, Evio president and CEO.
Evio will use data analytics and real patient experiences to understand how drugs perform in real world scenarios. As a complement to existing solutions in the pharmacy space, Evio plans to leverage data-driven insights at scale and integrate into the care delivery system so more patients have access to these innovations. The investment from the BCBS companies continues the evolution towards data-driven, patient-centered care.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Blue Shield of California, Highmark Inc. and Independence Blue Cross are all also investors in CivicaScript.