By Sean Karbowicz, PharmD., R.Ph., Founder and General Manager at MedSavvy
More than half of Americans today take at least one prescription drug, and costs are continually on the rise. But when determining whether a medication is the right choice, people should consider more than just cost – it’s about safety and efficacy, too. People should feel empowered to ask – and find answers to – questions like, “What is the proof of safety and effectiveness?” “How does this medication compare to others like it?” “Will the side effects interfere with my lifestyle?” and “What do others think?”
That’s why my team at MedSavvy has partnered with HealthSparq to create the ultimate health care navigation experience, giving health plans and employers the opportunity to offer members and employees access to health care choices in a way they never have before. Similar to HealthSparq, our offering takes users’ insurance plan into consideration, creating a personalized experience that is truly independent from industry bias.
Today there is a lot of talk about the cost of drugs, which is no surprise given that pharmaceutical spending is expected to reach $483 billion by 2020. Cost is an important element of the health care experience, and having access to that information before the bill comes is empowering and useful for any health care consumer. Our search and compare engine goes one step further with a report-card-style rating system to help explain safety and efficacy in a simplified way that anyone can understand.
The truth is that one medication regimen does not fit all. We think a person’s values and lifestyle should always be a factor when determining their medication or treatment needs. For example, one arthritis patient might not be comfortable injecting biologic prescription medications, and a combination of oral medications, along with the appropriate lifestyle choices, may be a better fit. Cost and safety can both play a big factor in medication choices. For instance, take the Corley family, whose daughter Gabriella is a type 1 diabetes patient. She is allergic to the insulin covered by their insurer, forcing the family to cover nearly the full cost of another insulin that works well for her. Drugs like birth control can also come in so many forms, but not every form is equally safe, nor does each option fit every woman’s lifestyle.
Our partnership with HealthSparq will ensure that health plan members have access to the information they need to make those critical health care choices. Here’s what this means for health plans and employers:
- Reduce prescription benefit costs – Members can see cost comparisons for treatments by condition, identify lower cost medications, and see medication options that their doctors may not have offered
- Guide people to safe, effective medications – With easy-to-understand, report-card-style grades of medication safety and effectiveness, members and employees can better understand their options
- Empower people to find better options – With expert advice from MedSavvy’s licensed pharmacists and comprehensive insights through the SavvyTalk community, members and employees have access to insights like they never have before
We at MedSavvy are excited to dive in with HealthSparq to give health plans access to even bigger offerings for members. In this complicated health care world, we know people are constantly experiencing an information overload as they sift through diagnoses and prescriptions. The key is to simplify that experience for people – and this partnership takes our tools one step further into the hands of people who need them.
For more information or to request a demo, please contact us.