If your organization is a payer of prescription benefits, there are many compelling reasons why it should consider hiring a pharmaceutical consultant. A good consultant can help your organization save money, streamline processes, and find proactive solutions to special situations such as out-of-formulary prescriptions and physician-administered drugs. Some consultants can even reduce costs for emerging specialties, such as radiology.
That said, not all pharmaceutical consultants use the same approach. Some consultants focus only on one aspect of the prescription benefits management process – for instance, formulary drugs. Other consultants reduce costs by negotiating discounts with specific drug vendors, and then steering doctors toward prescribing medications made by those vendors. Although both of these approaches may yield some cost savings, they will ultimately not provide the long-term solutions that most payers are seeking.
When choosing a pharmaceutical consultant, make sure that the vendor you’re considering uses a holistic approach. A thorough prescription benefits management program should seek cost savings across the entire spectrum of prescription expenses. At a minimum, this should include analyzing your processes for efficiency, assessing your formulary for savings opportunities, and negotiating drug prices with several major vendors. An exceptional consultant will also be able to help you realize savings on physician-administered drugs and radiological services.
Prescription benefit management programs can save your organization considerable amounts of money, but only if they’re properly structured. By making sure that your pharmaceutical consultant focuses on all of the areas of concern, you have a better chance of realizing the savings you seek.