Are Benefits a Popularity Contest?

Are Benefits a Popularity Contest?

We recently wrapped up a series of roundtable meetings in various cities where we discussed results from an employer survey we conducted on Plan Design Considerations & Innovations. Attendees at each of the roundtables enjoyed spirited discussion of the survey findings in general and of specific plan management strategies. (more…)

Seeing Clearly: The Cost of a Miracle Cure

Seeing Clearly: The Cost of a Miracle Cure

Preparing to pay for a new era of effective gene therapy

Could you imagine seeing stars in the night sky for the first time or even the site of your own parents’ faces after ten or even twenty years of significant visual impairment? The Food and Drug Advisory Committee heard personal testaments like these from patients explaining their miraculous results as part of two experimental gene therapy trials.

More than 25 years in the making, the FDA approved Luxturna® (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl), the first gene therapy for an inherited disorder involving a progressive form of blindness, typically starting in early childhood. Currently, no pharmaceutical alternative is available for these patients. (more…)

Health Plan Sponsors Need Thaler Too!

Health Plan Sponsors Need Thaler Too!

Last week, Richard Thaler was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics for pointing out that individual behavior, with respect to investing for the future, is not rational. As someone said in a recent WSJ article on Thaler’s accomplishment, “We’re a nation of procrastinators, not a nation of portfolio managers.” (more…)

Elephant in the Room: Are Employers Ready to Address Specialty Drug Spending?

Elephant in the Room: Are Employers Ready to Address Specialty Drug Spending?

Specialty drug costs continue to vex most health plan sponsors. This article from NEJM Catalyst brings to light some of the key issues and opportunities for employers. It highlights the Cleveland Clinic’s recent effort to eliminate $8.5 million of annual waste associated with two commonly used cardiovascular drugs. Employers have got to like that result! (more…)