Pharmacy costs rise in Mid-Atlantic states

October 1, 2007

In the face of increasing pharmacy costs at Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia pharmacies, health plans push beneficiaries to mail-order facilities

According to a report by HealthLeaders-InterStudy, the average weighted pharmacy expenses for Middle Atlantic states' health insurance plans rose from $26 to $33 per member, per month between 2004 and 2006. Most large commercial insurers saw pharmacy costs rise from 8% to 14%. The study analyzed health insurance plans in Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia. As pharmacy costs have gone up, the report noted, several of the major health plans have pushed beneficiaries toward central fill and mail-order operations. "Health plans have approached the problem of high drug costs with creative strategies and innovative automation, but, ultimately, the solution to high costs in health care is a strong move toward wellness and prevention," said Jan Shuxteau, market analyst for HealthLeaders-InterStudy.

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