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Neil Goldfarb Discusses Employers Covering Precision Medicines

As expensive precision medicines come to market, employers are willing to cover the costs if these medicines are shown to work and improve patient experience or outcome, said Neil Goldfarb, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Philadelphia Business Group on Health.


As expensive precision medicines come to market, employers are willing to cover the costs if these medicines are shown to work and improve patient experience or outcome, said Neil Goldfarb, president and chief executive officer of the Greater Philadelphia Business Group on Health.

How are employers viewing the changing landscape as we see more precision medicines come to market that require genetic and diagnostic testing? What are they doing to manage these new, ballooning costs?

I think employers still rely very heavily on their vendors, their benefit consultants, their PBMs [pharmacy benefit managers], specialty PBMs to advise them on these kinds of issues. And I think there’s still some question about for some of the precision medicine strategies, are they going to be inflationary or cost saving, quality improving or really no enhancement of value. So, we have to really judge each new technology independently. And I think that things are shifting where employers are recognizing that yes, every technology needs to be evaluated in some sort of a value framework, whether it’s by the employer, one of their vendors, or some value measuring institute.

I think it’s still fairly early on and employers, what I do know is their willing to cover these technologies even if they’re expensive, if they’re going to significantly improve the patient experience or the patient outcome. It’s going to then be a question of is the price reasonable for the outcome that’s being delivered?

 
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