In recent years, the pharmaceutical industry has experienced slowing growth on a global scale, due in part to patent expirations, increasingly tough regulations and fierce competition from generics. One sector, however, has not suffered the same fate—specialty pharmacy.
Topics: High Cost Medications, Controlling Pharmacy Expenditures, pharmacy spend, orphan drugs, Meaningful Use, Coverage Determination Process, Prior Authorization, Specialty Drug Cost Control, Specialty Drug
ePA will continue to gain momentum.
Electronic Prior Authorization (ePA) is not going anywhere—and, we're not talking about the folks who test drinking water and lobby for reduction of air pollutants. There has been a lot of talk about ePA over the past year. In fact, Google records nearly 3.9 million results for the term and nearly every week there is a legislative update, industry news story, or forum on the topic. Don't expect that to change this year.
With benefit managers struggling under the weight of requirements from Federal rules like HIPAA, HITECH, and Meaningful Use, as well as State regulations, ePA has become an essential strategy for the evolution of pharmacy benefit programming and maintaining regulatory standards. However, the value of ePA reaches much further than compliance. ePA substantially increases efficiency in the continuum of care for everyone, including providers, dispensers, patients, health plans, and payors. Faxing forms is cumbersome and depends on old, outdated technology. With ePA, a determination can be received in just minutes, often times when the patient is still in the doctor's office. And, this value is what providers have been waiting for.
According to United Health Center for Health Reform and Modernization the United States spent $87 billion on specialty drugs in 2012, and that number is estimated to reach $400 billion by 2020. In 2014 alone the cost of specialty products alone has risen 13.1%. Specialty drugs now cost more than the median household income.