Mercer Managed Pharmacy Practice

Mercer Managed Pharmacy Practice

Our Thinking / Employee and Business Healthcare Blog /

Mercer Managed Pharmacy Practice

The Prescription Drug Dilemma

Prescription drugs – especially specialty medications – are the top driver of healthcare cost increases today. In 2016, pharmacy drug costs increased 10.2%, and specialty drug costs were up 19.2%.


  • 576,000 Americans spent more than the median household income on prescription medications in 2014
  • This population of patients grew an astounding 63% since 2013
  • 2% of employees drive 35-40% of pharmaceutical spend
  • Among employees with over $50,000 in healthcare spend, 9 out of 10 are using specialty medications
  • Of those spending over $100,000 in healthcare, 60% are taking 10 or more medications and 72% are getting prescriptions from at least four different prescribers

The Challenge of Specialty Pharmacy and Health Care Costs

Specialty pharmaceuticals cost employers roughly $400 per member per year of pharmacy spend and is projected to increase by an average of more than $100 per member per year, exceeding $1,000 PMPY in 2019. View this infographic to learn more about the impact of rising costsBREAKTHROUGH DRUGS ARE BREAKING THE BANK.

Taming the beast. Effective Health Care Management

Keep your company's drug spend under control and start planning a specialty drug strategy. Mercer’s Managed Pharmacy Practice can evaluate and recommend the action steps required to better control your pharmacy drug spend, the results of which have delivered an ROI of as much as 20:1 ROI for employers. Read our white paper to learn how you can act now to get ahead of rising costs.

Annual cost increases of specialty drugs are driving overall increases in prescription benefits spend.

Specialty Pharmacy: A Strong and Growing Cost Driver

Gain control over increasing pharmacy costs. Find out if your specialty drug strategy is putting you at risk for unsustainable spending with our Specialty Pharmacy Calculator.  

Current Healthcare Landscape & Strategies to Stay Ahead of Growing Trends

For the entire US healthcare market, specialty medication spending has nearly doubled since 2011, reaching $160 billion. While the prescription drug industry develops biotech breakthroughs for chronic disease conditions like Hepatitis C and Multiple Sclerosis, they can come with a hefty price tag of as much as $100,000 or more per treatment.

Manufacturers of non-specialty brand name drugs without generic alternatives are increasing their prices prior to losing their patent protection. At the same time, the pricing for generic drugs continues to climb.

Specialty pharmacy drugs can be life-changing for your employees who need them. But the cost is on pace to make them unattainable for many employers in the near future. You have options, however, to get ahead of the curve and continue to offer these ground-breaking therapies in a cost effective way. 

In just 8–12 weeks, Mercer’s Pharmacy Practice can identify savings of up to 10% of specialty spend.

Reduce Spend, Eliminate Waste and Identify Trends

Innovative pharmaceutical cost-management solutions to help you provide attractive pharmacy drug benefits to your employees and their families, at lower costs with better outcomes. Get smarter about your company's drug spend. Check Mercer healthcare consulting.

  Let’s Talk. Mercer Healthcare Consulting.

Have questions? Want to speak to a consultant? Whatever the size of your company, we can help transform your health and benefits programs.  

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