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Possible impacts of biosimilar legislation

New specialty "generics" should lead to lower pharmacy costs. When FOBs hit the market, employers should make sure they have the right programs and cost management strategies.
July 2010 Issue 2

It’s in the genes

Personalized medicine allows doctors to customize treatments for each unique patient.

Taking aim at prescription drug abuse

Fight back with the High Utilization Narcotics Program, an extensive, high-touch program that reviews use of proper use of narcotics.

Letter from the
Chief Pharmacy

Susan V. Maddux
Pharm D. BCPS
Chief Pharmacy Officer

July 2010 Issue 2

In this issue

  • Possible impacts of biosimilar legislation
  • It’s in the genes
  • Taking aim at prescription drug abuse

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Letter from the Chief
Pharmacy Officer

In this issue of Pharmacy InFocus, we feature articles that speak to pharmaceuticals of the past (narcotics being one of the oldest known drugs) and to those of the future (targeted therapies based on an individual’s genes). From old to new, it’s our responsibility to help fulfill employees’ pharmacy needs, especially since the pharmacy benefit is usually the most used benefit.

I personally spearheaded our High Utilization Narcotics Program in 2004 when it moved to a more formalized program with support from divisions across UnitedHealth Group who also saw the benefits of working with physicians to help curb narcotic abuse. And, by integrating components of the pharmacy and medical benefits, we can offer our customers a more cohesive program.

While the vast majority of individuals take narcotics appropriately and only a very small percentage abuse them, these medications with a high abuse potential have unfortunately become very accessible. With our claims data, we can help physicians identify members who need to be evaluated. We have had positive feedback from physicians over the years who thanked us for informing them of high-risk patients who they suspect may have a problem, but cannot prove it, as well as helping identify patients they had no idea were receiving narcotics from other physicians.

As health care becomes more sophisticated and complicated with the advent of personalized medicine, we look forward to continuing to work with our vast network of physicians. Fostering stronger relationships means better member experiences and improved overall health and well-being, which is a goal we all aspire to.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Pharmacy InFocus, and please be sure to email us at pharmacy_news@uhc.com if you have suggestions for future articles.


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