Drug vials In a world where everyone wants to be cured of disease and everyone who participates in the cure wants to get paid, the employer will feel the squeeze. (Photo: Shutterstock)

Drug matching services offered by genomics companies are emerging that can more accurately prescribe medications for chronically ill patients. The implications for employers who provide health insurance for large employee groups are cause for optimism: Money now misspent on drugs for plan members that aren’t helping them will be saved, while those same patients will get healthier once they are on the correct medications.

But not all genetic innovations will have such win-win outcomes for plan sponsors. Researchers are beginning to spin out genetically based therapies that can alter a person’s genetic makeup and, in so doing, prevent or cure previously deadly conditions. But these therapies will costs hundreds of thousands of dollars per patient. And the question facing payers is: Who will pay, and how will that who pay it?

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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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