Next Steps in Controlling Pharmaceutical Costs In RI

Published 07/31/2019

The RIBGH hosted an employer roundtable event on pharmacy cost control on June 20, 2019 at the University of RI to identify current employer perspective/attitudes on drug pricing, formulary decisions and help employers to define overall value in developing their own pharmaceutical strategy. The discussion was facilitated by Stephen Kogut, Ph.D., M.B.A., Professor of Pharmacy Practice at the University of RI, Shannon Shallcross, Chief Executive Officer for BetaXAnalytics and Michael Follick, Ph.D., Founder and CEO of Abacus Health Solutions, and was made possible through at $10 thousand grant from the 2019 National Employer Roundtable Project, an initiative of the National Alliance of Healthcare Purchaser Coalitions. RIBGH was one of 10 coalitions to receive the grant. The findings from the 10 coalition roundtables will be published in a National Alliance report later this year.

Employers from across the state were invited to engage in the discussion and common themes developed including issues with lack of transparency for drug costs, challenges to educating employees to make wise decisions, importation and safety concerns and the ineffective legislative process when it comes to controlling affordability at the state level.

Al Charbonneau, the RIBGH Executive Director, started the discussion off with background on how and why the day's discussion came about and detailed the goals of the day.

Professor Kogut followed with a presentation on current data and trends in the pharmaceutical industry and suggested considering the value of a drug as a way of keeping costs in check. 

Shannon Shallcross facilitated the last presentation before the group discussion on employer strategies for managing pharmacy cost. These included leveraging pharmacy data, novel contracting arrangements, value-based initiatives, wellness programs and high volume vs. high cost prescription utilizers.
The roundtable discussion is a follow-up to the RIBGH's recent legislative breakfast event entitled Out of Control Pharma: What Should States be Doing to Keep Drug Costs in Check? which illuminated the need for further discussion and action within our state to address the unaffordable rise in pharmaceutical drug costs. Stay tuned for the RIBGH final report which will be shared with members in October of this year.