Conference Coverage: 2020 Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum

On Dec. 9, the 2020 Face to Face Drug Plan Management Forum featured sessions on prior authorization, Canadian drug policy issues and impacts, plan design considerations related to chronic disease and pharmacy benefits management.

Here’s what you missed!

Biosimilars, pharmacogenetics shaping the future of pharmacy benefits management
Plan sponsors with growing concerns about benefits plan sustainability should focus on a few strategic pharmacy benefits plan issues, said Mark Rolnick, executive vice-president of pharmacy innovation and patient experience at Green Shield Canada. Read more.

Risk-factor management, glucose monitoring necessary in controlling diabetes
From a plan manager perspective, eight per cent of plan members are living with diabetes, said Dr. Bruce Perkins, professor in the division of endocrinology and metabolism at the University of Toronto. Read more.

Employers should rethink approach to helping employees with obesity
Employers that don’t cover obesity drugs should ask themselves why, said Noel McKay, principal consultant at Cowan Insurance Group. Read more.

Drug pricing reforms may impact access to medication
Despite the myth that Canadian drug prices are skyrocketing, the Patented Medicines Price Review Board, Canada’s price regulator, has ensured prices for patented drugs haven’t increased more than the Canadian Consumer Price Index in close to 30 years, said Wayne Critchley, Global Public Affairs’ senior associate of health and life sciences. Read more.

Pharmacoeconomic analyses a tool in private-payer decision-making process
A recent Telus Health comparison of a drug`s cost effectiveness when calculated from the private versus the public-payer perspective demonstrated clearly that private-payer perspective matters when assessing the value of a medication, explained Dr Nina Lathia, pharmacist, and health economist. Read more.

Plan sponsors may benefit from using electronic drug prior authorization
While prior authorization is a great tool for plan sponsors, it comes with its own set of challenges, said Tara Liu, director of drug strategy at Canada Life. Read more.

Specialty drug prior authorization can be useful tool for plan sponsors
Telus Health analysis reports specialty drugs have grown from 11 per cent of total private drug plan claims costs in 2008 to 30 per cent in 2019 and require effective management to ensure sustainability of health benefits plans said Suzanne Lepage, private health plan strategist. Read more.