Pharma Beware! Drug Discounts Based On Compliance And Effectiveness
Drug company Merck and insurance company CIGNA strike deal signaling a paradigm shift in manufacturer-managed care relations with adherence at the heart of the equation
New Haven, CT - July 14, 2009 - Facing growing competition and pressured by consumers and the government to deliver quality products at reasonable prices, insurance companies are negotiating with pharmaceutical companies to unveil new prescription drug guarantees and discounts that aim to improve business and reward good patient outcomes.
In the most recent and perhaps most innovative of these deals, The New York Times reported that pharmaceutical giant Merck and insurance behemoth CIGNA have penned an agreement regarding the Type 2 diabetes drugs Januvia and Janumet. According to the agreement, Merck will give CIGNA bigger discounts based on how well their drugs work for CIGNA members. In a move that squarely links results to medical adherence, both companies hope that increasing patient compliance will benefit all parties - patients who take their medication regularly suffer fewer health complications when their diabetes is properly controlled and patients who take their medication more regularly will ultimately improve the drugs' sales.
"These new agreements between drug manufacturers and insurance companies solidify the need to link practical medical adherence tools with sound business practices," said Kevin Aniskovich, Chief Executive of the healthcare communications company Intelecare, which specializes in personal medical reminders for healthy living. "The key issue is that most prescription drugs, such as Type 2 diabetes drugs, are only effective if they are taken as directed. This emphasis on increasing patient compliance makes perfect sense - insurance companies want their customers healthy, and pharmaceutical companies want their drugs to perform optimally and compliance is the common thread to mitigate any adverse health effects."
Merck released a public statement regarding the new deal saying the company was "committed to finding new approaches to demonstrate the value of our products to our patients, physicians, and payers." Eric Elliott, CIGNA Pharmacy Management President said, "We want a contract that drives [drug] performance. Getting this one out will provide more momentum."
An estimated 23.6 million Americans have diabetes, resulting in $174 billion in direct and indirect health care costs each year.
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Established in 2005, Intelecare Compliance Solutions is a privately owned healthcare information technology company that provides an array of practical tools and services promoting medical adherence. With 84 percent of patients reporting forgetfulness as the major cause of non-compliance, and with the healthcare system suffering over $300 billion in costs annually due to non-compliance, Intelecare's solutions enable patients and caregivers alike to keep track of medications, doses, and doctor's appointments through the phone, mobile devices, and email - all while keeping simplicity, practicality, and innovation at the heart of its developments.
Aside from patient and caregiver services, Intelecare provides and manages a suite of scalable services for insurers, employers, retail pharmacies, non-profit organizations and pharmaceutical companies. Currently supporting millions of subscribers, Intelecare is dedicated to finding functional solutions to the widespread issue of medical non-compliance for individuals around the world that work the way people live.
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*Intelecare and the Intelecare motion logo are registered trademarks of Intelecare Compliance Solutions, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.