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Keeping specialty medication costs in check

Specialty drugs treat complex diseases. Better adherence means higher specialty medication costs, balanced by fewer hospitalizations, other medication costs, and drug waste.
May 2010 Issue 1

Drug invention vs. reinvention

In reality, most “new” drugs are not all that new when you consider evidence-based assessments comparing these drugs to existing alternatives.

Making sense of supply limits

Supply limits promote safety, help eliminate unnecessary cost and reduce waste.


Electronic prescribing helps physicians avoid health and safety risks for patients, and alerts them to your employees’ lowest-cost medication options before they write a prescription.

Letter from the
Chief Pharmacy

Susan V. Maddux
Pharm D. BCPS
Chief Pharmacy Officer

May 2010 Issue 1

In this issue

  • Keeping specialty medication costs in check
  • Drug invention vs. reinvention
  • Making sense of supply limits
  • E-prescribing

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Letter from the Chief
Pharmacy Officer


I'm pleased to welcome you to our first issue of Pharmacy InFocus, a web-based newsletter that will help bring clarity to issues that may impact your pharmacy benefit. As we all focus on managing costs while supporting members to stay healthy and make good health care choices, it is critical that we closely monitor market trends. As your eyes and ears in the pharmaceutical industry, we will try to put these trends into perspective and explain our strategies to address them.

As UnitedHealthcare's Chief Pharmacy Officer, I am heavily involved in developing our pharmacy programs and in reviewing medications to determine their health care value. We take our responsibilities to our customers and members very seriously. We have a dedicated team developing innovative evidence-based clinical and benefit solutions, removing costs from the health care system and encouraging your employees to be more involved in their pharmacy benefit decisions.

You will find a variety of articles in this Pharmacy InFocus issue, from improving health outcomes for employees with specialty conditions to ensuring their safety with supply limits. If you have article suggestions for future issues of Pharmacy InFocus, please email them to Pharmacy_News@uhc.com.

We look forward to continuing to provide insight into the pharmacy industry and creating programs and tools that will help your employees live healthier lives.


Susan V. Maddux, Pharm.D., BCPS
Chief Pharmacy Officer