FamilyWize provides out-of-pocket assistance via its discount prescription drug strategy
Patients are constantly concerned about the price of their prescriptions, and in some cases, insurance doesn’t provide the savings a patient might need — particularly if they fall in the Medicare coverage gap. A long-running partnership between FamilyWize and pharmacies has helped enable affordable access to medication regardless of insurance status. Drug Store News spoke to FamilyWize president and CEO Joseph Sanginiti about the organization’s value proposition and how it is building up its offerings for its patient base.
Drug Store News: How does FamilyWize work?
Joseph Sanginiti: We partner with pharmacies nationwide to negotiate prescription discounts so patients receive much lower prices. These discounted prices can be applied by simply showing the Free FamilyWize Prescription Discount Card or mobile app to the pharmacist or pharmacy tech at the counter when one is picking up their medication.
DSN: How does partnering with FamilyWize benefit retailers that operate pharmacies?
JS: Our pharmacy partners, from major chains to regional chains to independents, all see similar benefits of their customers using FamilyWize. Those benefits are that their patients are more adherent in taking their prescriptions because our discounts help the patient afford the cost. And also, their patients appreciate their pharmacy, and pharmacist, working with us to provide these discounts to them. We hear quite often from our customers, and they tell us just how life changing being able to afford their prescription medications can be, especially these days. In the end, the pharmacy and [its] team are viewed as heroes, and that is the way it should be.
DSN: How does this benefit patients?
JS: FamilyWize understands that our customers are looking to reduce the prices of their prescription medications, and our goal is to help as many people as we possibly can. Since 2005, we’ve helped tens of millions of Americans save more than $1 billion on their prescriptions. Our free prescription discount card and mobile app can be used by everyone nationwide, and there are no eligibility requirements. In addition, before customers visit the pharmacy, they should use the drug price lookup tool on our site, or in our app, to view the FamilyWize price of their medication at pharmacies near their home.
DSN: Is there an educational program involved in a business like this? How can people learn more about this offering?
JS: If you visit our website, familywize.org, we have a FAQs and a “How It Works” page to ensure all questions are answered. We always say that health care is a complicated part of our lives, and we work very hard to simplify it for our customers. For this reason, one can also call our contact center at 1-866-810-3784 to speak to our trained team of associates with any questions that one has.
DSN: What are some of the new services you’re hoping to add in the near future?
JS: We’re always looking to add or improve upon FamilyWize features and services, and 2018 is no exception. First, we continue to work to provide even lower pricing on thousands of common medications to our customers. Second, we are currently working on providing additional financial assistance to patients by including coupons and co-pay assistance for branded medications, making FamilyWize the one-stop shop for saving on all of their prescription medications. When you couple these announcements with our new mobile app, and our strong partnerships with United Way, and the retail pharmacies, we at FamilyWize are looking forward to helping millions more people save on their prescriptions this year and beyond.
FDA clears first 2 generics of Sensipar
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved the first generics of Amgen’s Sensipar. The generic Sensipar tablets (cinacalcet hydrochloride) — from Aurobindo and Cipla — mark the ninth and 10th approvals this year of first-time generics from the FDA.
Both Aurobindo’s and Cipla’s generic Sensipar will be available in 30-, 60- and 90-mg dosage strengths.
The drug is indicated to treat secondary hyperparathyroidism in adult patients with chronic kidney disease on dialysis, Hypercalcemia in adult patients with Parathyroid Carcinoma (PC), and severe hypercalcemia in adult patients with primary HPT who are unable to undergo parathyroidectomy.
CVS Health shares efforts to address drug costs at AHIP conference
At the AHIP National Policy and External Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C., this past week, CVS Health chief policy and external affairs officer Tom Moriarty discussed how the company is confronting rising drug prices for payers and patients. He outlined the company’s efforts, which include a new program that offers drug cost transparency for patients, pharmacists and prescribers.
“With more and more consumers in health plans with high deductibles, many are seeing the true cost of their medications for the first time, often at the pharmacy counter when they go to pick up their prescription,” Moriarty said. “That is why we developed and introduced a system that provides true cost transparency by sharing member-specific drug cost information, formulary coverage and available lower-cost alternatives with doctors at the moment when they are writing the prescription.”
He noted that prescribers using CVS Health’s real-time benefits capabilities through their electronic health record have switched a patient’s drug when it’s not in their formulary or when a cheaper option presents itself.
“With more and more consumers in health plans with high deductibles, many are seeing the true cost of their medications for the first time, often at the pharmacy counter when they go to pick up their prescription,” said Moriarty. “That is why we developed and introduced a system that provides true cost transparency by sharing member-specific drug cost information, formulary coverage and available lower-cost alternatives with doctors at the moment when they are writing the prescription.”
Moriarty also noted that CVS Health has implemented a point-of sale rebate effort that passes negotiated drug rebates to patients when they pay for their medication.
“Another way we help make prescription drugs more affordable for consumers is through Point of Sale rebates, which we have offered to our commercial clients since 2013,” added Moriarty. “We currently cover nearly 12 million people under this option, by which the estimated value of negotiated rebates on branded drugs is passed along to the consumer when they get their prescription.”