Yonghua Jing, MS




Economic Evaluation of a Prior Authorization Program for Biologic Response Modifiers

January 01, 2008

Specialty medications constitute the fastest-growing segment of drug spending under the pharmacy benefit. This study evaluated the impact of a specialty pharmacy prior authorization (PA) program on prescription drug costs for biologic response modifiers (BRMs) used in the treatment of persons with rheumatoid arthritis, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn disease, ankylosing spondylitis, psoriatic arthritis, psoriasis, and other spondyloarthropathies. A retrospective, case-control, one-to-one matching approach based on patient age, sex, and client characteristics was used. Case clients were enrolled in the specialty pharmacy PA program from January 1 through December 31, 2005. The control group consisted of clients who were not enrolled in the program during this time. The average costs per eligible member per month (PMPM), for the total, plan, and member were $1.32, $1.29, and $0.03, respectively, in the case group, and $1.44, $1.41, and $0.03, respectively, in the control group. Clients who implemented the specialty pharmacy PA program for BRMs saved an estimated total cost of $0.12 PMPM. Implementing a specialty pharmacy PA program reduced BRM costs. (Drug Benefit Trends. 2008;20:26-31)