Health insurers recruiting former pharma reps to cut costs
(HealthDay)—Health insurers are recruiting former pharmaceutical company representatives to educate doctors and help save money on prescription medications, according to a report published June 8 in Kaiser Health News.
Capital District Physicians' Health Plan (CDPHP), an Albany, N.Y., insurer, is hiring former pharma representatives and staffing a sales force to develop cost-effective medicine. They have been able to address rising costs of prescription medications, such as Glumetza (metformin hydrochloride), manufactured by Valeant Pharmaceuticals, which reached a price of $81,270 per year. When CDPHP doctors were informed of the price, most of the 60 plan members who were taking Glumetza were switched to the generic alternative, saving $5 million in one year.
"Insurers are taking matters into their own hands," said Lea Prevel Katsanis, a marketing professor at Concordia University in Montreal, according to the article. "They're saying, 'We can't really rely on drug companies to talk to doctors about what's cost-efficient.'"
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