Educational Briefs

Opioids: Minimizing Abuse, Misuse and Overuse

Opioids are a class of drugs that include illegal drugs such as heroin and prescription drugs like Oxycontin and Vicodin. Designed to “interact with opioid receptors on nerve cells in the body and brain, [they] produce pleasurable effects and relieve pain.”1

Drug overdoses are a leading cause of accidental death; it is crucial that steps are taken to combat this national crisis.

Drug Plan Tips 101

Why are drug costs rising?
How can your plan get the most out of its pharmacy benefit dollars?
Use National CooperativeRx’s proven methods to lower your drug spend costs.

The Power of Vaccines

While vaccines are becoming increasingly accessible, vaccination rates are still far from desirable and well below government goals. A study from the University of North Carolina found that over the 2015-2016 flu season, “the flu accounted for $5.8 billion in health care and lost productivity costs. Some 80 percent of those losses were tied to people who chose not to get vaccinated.”

Specialty Drugs: What Employers Need to Know

Specialty drugs may only be used by 1-2% of individuals, but they account for approximately 40% of drug spend. With 31 new specialty drugs slated to be approved in 2017, this drug category will continue to drive trend.

Copay Card Programs

Copay card programs are made available to consumers by drug companies in an effort to steer them towards purchasing their particular drugs. They reduce or completely cover the consumer’s out-of-pocket cost.

Discount Card Programs

Discount card programs — the name speaks for itself. Organizations such as GoodRx and Blink Health will distribute them for free with the promise of saving money on prescription drugs. Sound too good to be true? It just might be.