Companies moving to reduce drug prices for employees

A growing number of big companies are moving to help cut the price of prescription drugs for their workers. More than a quarter of large companies will launch programs next year to offer deeper drug discounts, according to a survey of 170 large companies that employ 13 million people by the National Business Group on Health.

A growing number of big companies are moving to help cut the price of prescription drugs for their workers. More than a quarter of large companies will launch programs next year to offer deeper drug discounts, according to a survey of 170 large companies that employ 13 million people by the National Business Group on Health. Another 31% are looking to join in over the next 2 years. Through these programs employees would receive immediate discounts on many drugs at the time of purchase. Businesses want to reduce their own health care expenses and pass on some of the savings they get from drug manufacturer rebates directly to employees. The move could ultimately lead to great savings for employers and employees, according to Ge Bai, a health care accounting professor at Johns Hopkins University. Benefit managers would be cut off from a large source of profit and be forced to negotiate even steeper discounts from manufacturers, Bai says.