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 the Author

Ali Skinner is a communications professional with nearly 20 years of media, marketing, advertising, and public relations experience. She joined CDPHP in November 2011 and currently serves as Vice President, Communications and External Affairs for one of the top health plans in New York and the nation. In this role, Ali oversees all internal and external communications, public relations, and government relations for the plan’s 400,000 members and 1,200 employees. A self-described recovering journalist, Ali spent 10 years writing and delivering news for a number of television and radio stations in the Syracuse and Albany, NY markets. Today, she uses her journalism background to help patients and the public make sense of complex health care topics.

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