HealthTrans makes changes to average wholesale prices

September 28, 2009

HealthTrans, a healthcare management solutions company, recently announced changes it made to ensure market readiness for changes to Average Wholesale Prices (AWP). HealthTrans successfully transitioned clients Sept. 16,according to a statement to Drug Topics, and is now effectively processing claims based on Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC).

HealthTrans, a healthcare management solutions comapny, recently announced the completion of all necessary modifications to ensure market readiness for changes to Average Wholesale Prices (AWP). HealthTrans successfully transitioned clients Sept. 16, and is now effectively processing claims based on Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC), according to a statement released to Drug Topics. The modifications come in light of the recent settlement involving First DataBank.

The AWP class action settlement approved March 30, 2009, mandated a rollback in the calculation of AWP for 1,400 National Drug Codes (NDCs) by September 26, 2009. First DataBank will voluntarily rollback approximately 20,000 additional NDCs where the AWP calculation is greater than WAC plus 20 percent and discontinue publishing AWP completely within two years of the rollback date.

WAC-based pricing is the most widely used industry benchmark outside of AWP, and is the predominant pricing structure used by retailers and manufacturers. “It was very important for us to create a seamless transition for each of our clients,” said Dan Coady, Senior Director of Product Management, HealthTrans. “WAC-based pricing is the most transparent solution to our payer clients and readily supports the economic neutrality goal; it’s also the only approach addressing the rollback that has a chance of lasting beyond the pending AWP sunset.”

Others in the industry also support a WAC-based approach. In support of this decision, Craig Stephens, RPh, MBA, SVP & Practice Leader of Evergreen Rx consulting, said “We hold a national managed care client base with multiple PBM relationships, which has enabled us to witness a broad perspective on how the industry is addressing a common problem with several solutions.

While most all PBMs have chosen to place a temporary bandage on this market transformation, HealthTrans has taken the bold step of bringing a viable, long-term solution to the industry. We commend them for their approach and hope others will step forward quickly.” “HealthTrans did extensive due diligence to ensure zero client disruption while preserving economic neutrality,” said Steve Groover, RPH, President, HealthTrans.

“The WAC strategy accomplished both goals and our timely implementation speaks to the commitment HealthTrans makes to our clients. We are pleased to be an industry leader in this watershed industry transition. “ HealthTrans processes more than 90 million claims annually, representing 15.3 million lives and more than $4 billion in annual prescription drug spend.