Advances in biotechnology have led to the development of new medical therapies for a variety of diseases, including many types of cancers and autoimmune diseases (eg, rheumatoid arthritis). Among these agents are biologics, also known as specialty pharmaceuticals. These drugs represent the fastest-growing segment of pharmaceuticals. Employers sponsor a significant proportion of plans that provide healthcare benefits, including biologics.

An Educated Consumer Is Our Best Customer

Patient access to healthcare resources is an important topic of healthcare discussion, research, and reform in the United States.1,2 Access issues are usually framed in the context of patients having health insurance, as the quality of health insurance facilitates patient access to necessary medical and pharmaceutical therapies.2 Although patient access to medications is essential, formulary management strategies may introduce barriers aimed at restricting utilization, including curbing patient demand by increasing the cost borne by the patient or providing incentives

We Need More Research on True Value-Based Benefit Design that Will Improve Outcomes and Control Costs

Chest pain, or angina pectoris, is the primary symptom of coronary artery disease (CAD), or chronic heart disease, a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States.

Medical Claims Data Can Inform Coverage Decisions in Managed Care Health Plans

Rhonda Greenapple, MSPHDiabetes is an important disease state causing significant morbidity and mortality throughout the United States and worldwide. The current obesity epidemic, together with the US aging population, is fueling the rapid increase in diabetes prevalence.

We Must All Engage in the Diabetes Challenge: A Lifelong Journey, with No Silver Bullet

Nowhere is this caveat from David Blumenthal, MD, MPP, the former National Coordinator for Health Information Technology, more applicable than in the emergency department setting. Although originally designed as the section of a hospital where only the most acutely ill persons should seek care for their maladies, the emergency department has become much more than that. It now serves as the primary care provider for many who have no such physician outside the emergency department.2,3

Health as a Sustainability Strategy: We Need a Healthcare System Focused on Keeping People Healthy Rather than Adding Layers to the Already Too Long, Fragmented Supply Chain

Asthma is a chronic respiratory disease that affects anywhere from 1% to 18% of the world population.1-4 In the United States, the prevalence rate is estimated at 11%, which represents approximately 36 million individuals.5 Because asthma is known to occur concomitantly with allergic rhinitis and is often associated with other comorbidities and risk factors,6-9 symptoms reported by patients are multifaceted and have consequences that are inimical to work productivity and health.10-12

Medicaid Spending on Asthma Medications

Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), also known as enlarged prostate, is a significant health problem among aging men.1 It affects approximately 50% of American men aged 51 to 60 years, 70% of men aged 61 to 70 years, and 90% of men aged 81 to 90 years.2 The burden of BPH on the US healthcare system is expected to grow even further as the population of men aged ≥65 years increases from 17 million in 2010 to approximately 30 million by 2030.3

Benefit Management Considerations for BPH Medications: Single Agent or Combination Therapy?

Nearly 96% of all employers allow employees and covered beneficiaries to fill medication prescriptions from either retail or mail-service pharmacy. 1 In 2009, mail-service pharmacies dispensed approximately 238 million prescriptions, representing 6.6% of the 3.6 billion prescriptions dispensed that year.2 Mailservice pharmacies have enjoyed high levels of consumer satisfaction.3 Mail-service pharmacies offer consumers the convenience of home delivery, online ordering and renewal processes, and prescriptions filled with a 90-day supply of medication.

When More Is Almost Always Better

Major depressive disorder (MDD) often presents as a chronic and recurrent illness.

Efficacy and Cost-Effectiveness: Escitalopram versus Citalopram
Re-Engineering the Healthcare Continuum: Implementing Value-Based Insurance Design to Improve Diabetes Management
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  •  Association for Value-Based Cancer Care
  • Value-Based Cancer Care
  • Value-Based Care in Rheumatology
  • Oncology Practice Management
  • Rheumatology Practice Management
  • Urology Practice Management
  • Inside Patient Care: Pharmacy & Clinic
  • Lynx CME