March 17, 2017
Last week, the Health Transformation Alliance's ambitious plan to lower pharmaceutical prices for its member companies was highlighted in a Wall Street Journal article titled, "Alliance of Companies Unveil First Steps Aimed at Cutting Health-Care Costs." The blueprint includes group contracts to purchase prescription drugs through CVS Health Corp. and UnitedHealth Group Inc., the creation of specialized doctor networks, and a deal to use IBM’s Watson software to analyze health care data. Each HTA member company will decide whether to participate in the prescription drug contracts after comparing the alliance-negotiated deals with their existing prescription arrangements. The HTA expects at least 20 of its 38 members to participate, and estimates they will save a combined $600 million over three years compared with their current drug-benefit contracts, said HTA CEO Robert Andrews. The savings would represent 14 percent to 15 percent of total drug spending, on median, for the employers.