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Express Scripts Canada's Solution for Specialty Medications – Simplifying healthcare for complex patients

Janice Savini, Express Scripts CanadaBy Janice Savini, Clinical Pharmacist, Express Scripts Canada

There is a growing understanding in the benefits industry that one way to control drug plan costs is to give more attention to patients taking specialty drugs. After all, specialty medications account for only 2% of total claims, but an astonishing 31% of total spending. This is up from 15% of total spending as recently as 2008, and the trend shows no signs of abating.

But simply focusing more attention on this group of patients is not enough. The challenge is how to optimize spending in the specialty area while continuing to deliver the highest quality care to patients who, in most cases, are dealing with life-changing illnesses. With science making advances every day in the treatment of devastating conditions like cancer, hepatitis and other auto-immune diseases, nobody wants to restrict access to drugs that in some cases are the difference between life and death.

Instead, Express Scripts Canada (ESC) has developed one of the most advanced solutions for specialty medications in Canada, which does not limit access to medication, but does increase the chances that prescribed medications will be used to achieve optimal health outcomes. The difference is ...

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