The Empire Life Insurance Company (Empire Life) announced today it is introducing Actively Managed Drug Solutions for customers with pay-direct drug plans. This complimentary new service will help employers better manage drug benefit costs while helping their employees achieve better health.
Powered by Express Scripts Canada and designed for employees who take maintenance and/or specialty drugs, Actively Managed Drug Solutions provides personalized education and coaching, delivery of medication, and treatment facilitation. The result is that employees:
- better understand their health condition and treatment,
- are alerted to the availability of clinically appropriate, lower cost alternative medications, so they can make cost-effective decisions,
- benefit from the convenience of longer day-supplies of medication delivered directly to the address of their choice, and
- are more likely to take medication as prescribed and suffer fewer unnecessary complications.
Chronic disease is on the rise in Canada. That means more medication is being charged to drug benefit plans. At the same time, new specialty drugs are coming to market in ever greater number. They can dramatically improve treatment and quality of life for employees—and they can be costly. According to Express Scripts Canada, specialty drugs accounted for 2% of the claims they adjudicated in 2015 but 30% of customers’ drug spend overall. Express Scripts Canada predicts this will reach 42% of spend by 2020. Tackling cost head-on through cost shifting or cutting benefits can be counterproductive in the long run. When employees can’t afford to fill their prescriptions they often go without, which can lead to further illness, the need for more medication, and disability absences.
“New higher cost drugs are just one of the factors putting pressure on drug benefits, and our customers need solutions to keep their plans sustainable and competitive" said Steve Pong, senior vice-president, Group Solutions at Empire Life. “We are delighted to partner with Express Scripts Canada on Actively Managed Drug Solutions. It helps employees stay on track with their treatment, and helps customers keep their drug benefits more sustainable—so plans can afford to cover specialty drugs when they are needed.”
The full suite of Actively Managed Drug Solutions services is not available in Quebec.
 Express Scripts Canada Drug Trend Report, 2014