Payers and employers are starting to employ a new strategy that saves pharmacy costs. Instead of allowing patients access to virtually any drugstore, they limit access to a preferred network of pharmacies. The participating pharmacies agree to lower their prices in return more patient traffic directed to them.
Members are sharing in the savings on their healthcare spending as well, and allegedly member satisfaction has improved after introduction of this approach.
A big actor in this stage is Walmart! Walmart says they are already part of about 400 Preferred Networks for employers, and participate in Preferred Networks for over 20 PBMs and MCOs, in some cases helping build these networks. Walmart claims to achieve savings of 13-18% (with some cases going as high as 45%)..
Torsten Bernewitz is a healthcare industry analyst and management consultantHe is Managing Principal, Healthcare Insurers and Payers at ZS Associates.
This post is the author’s own and does not necessarily represent ZS Associates’ positions, strategies or opinions.