Drugs and coins Any true relief for employer plans remains in the mid-to-distant future–unless pharmaceutical companies decide to proactively reduce prices to fend off reforms. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Employers hoping for quick relief to their prescription drug cost pain were disappointed by President Trump’s price-reduction speech Friday. However, the ambitious, multi-pronged attack on escalating prices–dubbed American Patients First– may at least set the stage for further debate. And that could be a positive outcome for benefits plan designers and administrators who now struggle with the unpredictability of plan costs.

“What’s important is the increased focus on high and escalating prescription drug prices,” said Steve Wojcik, vice president of public policy at National Business Group on Health. “Especially on specialty pharmaceutical medications where we’ve seen the largest increases. To extent government implements policy changes, with Medicare, Medicaid, the [Federal Drug Administration] and the patent and trade offices, that’s where we could have positive impact for employers.”

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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