Doctor and business man holding up medication concepts Working with your PBM to identify drugs where less expensive alternatives are available is important to create a drug mix that balances clinical effectiveness and costs. (Image: Shutterstock)

Since the start of the year and at the apex of the pandemic, nearly 600 drugs have seen price hikes, and more increases from major drug makers are expected soon. Given the continued cost increases, and with many employers looking to ensure affordable access to prescriptions for their members, it’s more important than ever for plan sponsors and benefits professionals to evaluate their formulary to ensure that it provides clinically sound, cost-effective alternatives that can reduce overall plan costs.

A formulary is a list of prescription drugs covered by plan sponsors. Formularies should provide the best value to plan sponsors and members, but they could include wasteful or low-value drugs, which drive up overall plan costs with prescriptions that have little to no clinical value. In fact, removing high-cost, low-value drugs from formularies could save plan sponsors between 3% and 24% on overall pharmacy spending.

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