Arxcel survey points to manufacturers as main reason for high drug costs

WILLIAMSVILLE, N.Y. Arxcel, a consulting group for pharmacy benefit managers, has released the results of its sixth annual Arxcel Prescription Benefit Research Survey. The survey is aimed at gathering information as to why drug costs are skyrocketing and what solutions can be implemented to impede them.

One of the main results from the survey showed that according to 70 percent of survey respondents, drug manufacturers are to blame for the high cost of prescription benefit programs. The respondents to the survey were benefit managers, human resource executives and pharmacy benefit managers, who were asked to participate for the first time.

When respondents were asked to name the most significant cause of rising prescription costs, direct-to-consumer advertising ranked first with 45.5 percent. Research and development ranked second with 24.6 percent. When combined, these numbers revealed that 70.1 percent of those surveyed blamed drug manufacturers for the high cost of prescription benefit programs. The aging population was the third most popular reason with 16.8 percent.

The survey showed a split perception of the PBM industry. Half of the respondents rated the industry as “positive” or “very positive” while the other half rated it “neutral” to “very negative.” While the industry received mixed reviews, individual PBMs fared somewhat better. Nearly two-thirds rated their PBM favorably with 52 percent trusting their PBM is operating in their company’s best interest.

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