Prescription Medication

One-fifth of U.S. health care dollars are spent purchasing prescription medications, a burden attributed not only to the high price of the drugs but also to how those medications are used by clinicians and patients. Challenged to uncover new approaches to medication use that would substantially lower U.S. health spending and improve heath, the team of CERC fellows launched a global investigation.

The team proposes three main solutions that health systems can implement to encourage not only the better use of drugs, but also lower prices spent on prescription medications themselves: improve patient adherence, improve provider prescribing, and tackle medication prices.

Projects and Outcomes

CERC’s prescription medication redesign team designed care model with three core elements:

  1. Offload medication management responsibilities to a pharmacist team.

  2. Use medication marketshare shift to directly negotiate price discounts with medication manufacturers.

  3. The establishment of tele-mediated connections between patients’ prior pediatric specialty providers and the patients’ new adult care providers, who are often unfamiliar with severe childhood-acquired illnesses

The team estimated the net national savings from implementation of the first two elements of the CERC prescription medication model would be approximately $110 billion annually, with the majority of savings due to improved medication management of patients with chronic disease. Additional savings would likely be produced from the medication market share shift to negotiate price discounts with medication manufacturers.

Publications and News