July 25, 2017 News

How One Health Plan Enlisted Pharma Sales Reps to Bring Down Costs

Rising prescription drug costs hurt everyone – from patients who cannot access treatments to consumers who pay higher premiums. Health plans across the country are working with physicians, pharmacists, and other stakeholders to find real solutions for this problem so patients can afford to get the care they need.

Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP®) in Albany, N.Y., has turned to a surprising partner: former pharmaceutical sales reps. The health plan has hired salespeople who used to work for pharma companies so they can educate doctors about cheaper alternatives to expensive medicines. And it’s working, Kaiser Health News reported: CDPHP reps saved $10 million during the first year after educating providers about cost-effective versions of cholesterol drug Lipitor and acid reflux medication Nexium. In addition to cutting drug costs for CDPHP, the approach also benefits patients, as much of the savings come from copays and are passed on to members.

CDPHP President and CEO Dr. John Bennett, sat down at the 2017 AHIP Institute & Expo to talk about how his organization is helping providers and patients better understand the value and effectiveness of different treatment approaches:


This article originally appeared on the Alliance of Community Health Plans (AHIP) website.

Ali Skinner
About Author

Ali joined CDPHP in 2011 and currently serves as the Vice President of Communications Strategy. In this role, she works closely with members of the press and public to communicate key information about CDPHP, as well as the health care industry as a whole. A self-described recovering journalist, Ali spent nearly 10 years writing and delivering news stories for CBS6 News and WGY Radio. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in broadcast journalism with a minor in political science from SUNY Oswego.

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