healthcare costs

Horizon Partnership Aims to Lower Cost of Select Generic Drugs

Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey (Horizon BCBSNJ) joined 17 other Blue Cross Blue Shield plans across the country to announce a collaborative partnership with Civica to create a new subsidiary dedicated to lowering the cost of selected generic drugs. This partnership is expected to provide hundreds of millions of dollars in savings for consumers and promote competition in the generic drugs market, according to Horizon.

Civica, a not-for-profit generic drug maker founded in 2018 by three national philanthropies and a group of health systems to address prescription generic cost and supply challenges facing hospitals, will extend its efforts as a result of this new partnership to produce certain generics taken outside the hospital setting.  This new effort, which will focus on generics that currently carry a high price tag as a result of limited or no competition, expects to bring its first drugs to market in 2022. The new subsidiary will acquire and develop Abbreviated New Drug Applications (ANDs) for select generic drugs and partner with Civica and manufacturing partners to bring more affordable generic drugs to uncompetitive markets.

“Our members are demanding more from health care and Horizon is leading with new approaches and solutions that challenge the status quo to improve quality, affordability and the patient experience,” said Kevin P. Conlin, CEO and Chairman of Horizon BCBSNJ “Prescription drug spending is the single biggest driver of the higher health costs facing consumers and businesses and we cannot and will not simply wait for others to solve this problem.  Horizon will continue to pursue every available opportunity, including creating new options when needed, and maintain the dialogue with pharmaceutical industry leaders who want to partner with us to help our members get the prescriptions they need to achieve their best health at a price they can afford.”

The Civica partnership joins other Horizon initiatives aimed at lowering the cost of prescriptions for members.  Examples of these initiatives include:

  • The Gemini price transparency tool that allows prescribers to present their patients with lower cost Rx options;
  • Pharmacy case management in which Horizon works with value-based partners to promote use of generics, manage use of specialty drugs, improve adherence and help reduce the overall cost of care;
  • Utilization alert systems that flag potential abuse and overutilization of opioids, and pharmacy lock-in program that averts duplicate opioid prescriptions.

Prescription drug spending makes up, on average, more than 22 percent of the insurance premium dollar. The18 locally-operated Blue plans and Civica invite other health pans, retail entities, employers and health care innovators to join as partners in the initiative to further the goal of extending cost savings to individuals, families and businesses.

BCBS companies currently participating in the Civica partnership include:

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, Arkansas Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Blue Shield of California, Capital BlueCross, CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield*, Excellus BlueCross BlueShield*, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Hawaii, Highmark Blue Cross Blue Shield, Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey, Blue Cross of Idaho, Independence Blue Cross, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas City, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, BlueCross BlueShield of Western New York and BlueShield of Northeastern New York, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Vermont and the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association’s Federal Employee Program.

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