States Tackle Rx Pricing; Calling All Members…and Non-members!; Survey Says…

June 21, 2016

The Weekly Buzz: How Some States are Tackling Prescription Drug Pricing 

For over a year, surveys have shown that Americans are fed up with high drug prices. Presidential candidates are talking about solutions on the campaign trail. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has even proposed a controversial Part B drug demonstration (that will likely be scaled back due to stakeholder opposition).

Fearing that the federal government may be moving too slowly, roughly a dozen states have embarked on initiatives to improve drug pricing transparency or deliver other solutions to address citizens’ concerns that medicines are simply too expensive.

According to Carolyn Pare, president and CEO of The Action Group, “We simply cannot afford skyrocketing – and worsening – prescription drug costs. On behalf of Minnesotans, The Action Group will continue to push for system-wide change by uniting the employer voice and making our expectations known through our Specialty Pharmacy Action Network.”

Read the full story about how other states are taking action here.

Don’t Miss Out! Add These Dates to Your Calendar:


Two Important Action Group Events Open to Members and Non-Members! 

July 27, 5:30 p.m.-7 p.m.: Minnesota Bridges to Excellence Recognition Reception

bridge-2016-smTo honor the clinics and medical groups across Minnesota that are committed to closing health care quality gaps, the Minnesota Health Action Group and the Minnesota Bridges to Excellence (MNBTE) Champions of Change will be hosting a recognition reception. Recognized clinics qualified for incentive payments by meeting performance criteria for either achievement or improvement by delivering optimal care to their patients with diabetes, vascular disease, and/or depression. To learn more about MNBTE, or to view last year’s rewarded clinics, click here. Details about the Recognition Reception are posted here, along with a registration link.

August 11: Community Dialogue: Improving the Value of Specialty Drugs

prescription-drug-costsThe Action Group’s Specialty Pharmacy Action Network members have been hard at work for more than a year identifying the issues surrounding the high cost of specialty drugs, developing possible solutions, and learning what actions need to be taken to reshape the marketplace. On August 11, 2016, we will be bringing together all interested stakeholders to share perspectives, knowledge and ideas about this important topic affecting the U.S. economy, public and private purchasers, individuals with chronic and serious conditions, and all taxpayers. You do not need to be a member of The Action Group or the Specialty Pharmacy Action Network to attend. Invitations with details and registration information will be sent later this week.

Action Group Employer Benefits Survey Executive Summary Now Available!

The Action Group’s Employer Benefits Survey provides comprehensive health benefit benchmarks from Minnesota employers. This unique Survey offers invaluable strategic and tactical plan design details, along with insight into health plan vendors, prescription drug trends (with an emphasis on specialty pharmacy), wellness programs, market innovations, and more. The Survey digs deep into what is and isn’t working for Minnesota employers. The Executive Summary is available to all. Please click here.

A comprehensive report of findings and detailed answers has been distributed to organizations that participated in the Survey, which is open to members and non-members. Employers willing to commit to 2017 Survey participation will receive a complimentary copy of the full 2016 Survey results. Interested employers may contact Sue Jesseman.

Thought for the Week

“Electronic health records are now ubiquitous in hospitals, and the systems give patients what could be a better way to communicate their wishes on treatment options at the end of life. But in too many cases, physicians using the systems struggle to find the documents.”