National Employer Initiative on

Specialty Drugs & Biopharma

Employer Focused, Employer Driven

Project Activities & Tools

In 2010, MBGH embarked on a multi-year, multi-faceted employer-led research project to address purchaser concerns about the rising costs of biologic and specialty drugs. The National Employer Initiative on Specialty Drugs integrates key benchmarking and research, perspectives of leading health benefits professionals, and the collective knowledge of industry experts and employer coalitions  to support the efforts of employers across the country. The project is led by Cheryl Larson, President & CEO, MBGH and Randy Vogenberg, PhD, RPh, Institute for Integrated Healthcare (IIH).

“Managing Specialty Drugs” has been cited as one of the top three priorities for MBGH employers over the past six years, according to its annual Health Benefits Directions employer member survey. In 2016, it became the #1 priority (see graph below).

2016 Employer Member Survey slide

For the past five years, MBGH has also conducted an annual Employer Survey on Specialty Drugs with health care purchasers and sister coalitions from across the country to track their understanding, perspectives and strategies related to specialty drug management. Consistently, survey findings revealed the perception that there is a lack of innovation and transparency in PBM/vendor programs, plan design strategies and stakeholder accountability. This frustration with the industry, along with growing cost trends, signify the need for a national Call to Action for self-funded plan sponsors to more effectively identify, understand and address today’s challenging specialty drug environment.