Reducing drug costs using behavioural science

Strategies inspired by opt-in, opt-out approach of pensions
By Michael Biskey
|Canadian HR Reporter|Last Updated: 04/07/2014

The health plan cost increases besieging Canadian companies are driven by many factors, including the availability of specialty drugs for treating rare and complex diseases. But the primary driver of drug cost inflation is a lack of informed patient decisions — decisions employers have the power to influence.

Each year, about $3.9 billion is lost to drug-mix waste associated with the use of higher-cost medications that generate no additional health benefit, according to the Express Scripts Canada 2012 Drug Trend Report.

Another $1.2 billion is wasted annually through patient decisions about where, how and when they fill their prescriptions.