Novartis releases report

Pharmaceutical Representative

Novartis released its 1998 Pharmacy Benefit Report, a compilation of 1997 pharmacy benefit facts and figures gathered by independent researchers and analysts.

Novartis Pharmaceutical Corp. released its 1998 Pharmacy Benefit Report, a compilation of 1997 pharmacy benefit facts and figures gathered by independent researchers and analysts.

The report, which relies on data gathered from 48 health maintenance organization pharmacy directors and IMS Health's "Retail Method-of-Payment Report," was compiled by means of electronic survey. It includes utilization and costs data for both the managed care and retail markets, HMO drug benefit design information and insight into forces that drive changes in pharmacy management.

Novartis selected drugs and classes for inclusion in the report. Therefore, not all classes and drugs were included in final data.

Key findings from the report include:


•Â In 1997, third-party payers accounted for 63% of prescription dollar volume, a 4.5% increase over 1996. Cash share fell from 29.3% of dollar volume in 1996 to 25% in 1997.


•Â The average annual number of retail prescriptions per U.S. resident increased to 8.5 prescriptions in 1997.


•Â The total HMO universe in 1997 expanded to 72.3 million members. Independent practice association plans captured 56.6% of total enrollment; 92.4% of those in managed care plans had access to a pharmacy benefit. Medications dispensed through those managed benefit plans (for the key classes and products included in the report) totaled 217.6 million prescriptions and generated managed care plan expenditures of $8.5 billion.


•Â HMOs surveyed reported spending an average $15.57 per member per month for an average 0.7 prescriptions.


•Â Generic products accounted for 44.6% of HMO prescriptions and 25% of drug expenditures.


•Â Antidepressants were the most prescribed class for HMOs with 369.8 prescriptions per 1,000 members and a per-member-per-year ranking second among all classes at $19.35.


•Â Gastrointestinal agents led HMO expenditures with a per-member-per-year cost of $19.88, ranking fourth in prescription volume with 252.9 prescriptions per 1,000 members.


•Â Antipsychotics, gastrointestinal agents and beta-agonists led all classes in Medicaid's share of total retail prescriptions at 46.7%, 14.6% and 14.6%, respectively.

Detailed data from the report can be accessed on Novartis' Internet site with an assigned password. For more information, call Novartis at (800) 456-4994. PR