OPERS pharmaceutical video series debuts

Rising prescription drug costs is a big concern for retirees of the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System.

A new, monthly video series will provide viewers with insights into the prescription drug market and examine the role that pharmaceuticals play in the overall cost of health care. The videos will feature Brian Lehman, OPERS’ pharmacy benefits and policy manager.

Lehman oversees programs, services and plan design for the OPERS prescription drug retiree plan.  He also helps to influence policy on prescription drugs at the state and federal level.

Our goal with this series is to keep you up to date on prescription drug-related issues and bring you news of the work we’re doing to support helpful solutions in this field.

Michael Pramik

Michael Pramik is communication strategist for the Ohio Public Employees Retirement System and editor of the PERSpective blog. As an experienced business journalist, he clarifies complex pension policies and helps members make smart choices to secure their retirement.

Michael Pramik

Communication Strategist

5 thoughts on “OPERS pharmaceutical video series debuts

  • December 5, 2016 at 11:55 am
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    On the one hand, I’m glad to see OPERS actively pursuing a resolution to, and recognizing, the problem of skyrocketing drug costs by employing experts such as Mr.Lehman. On the other hand, our Humira Rx cost has risen to $4000 a month, with the price increased at least 4 times over the past year. The Drug Gods, their lawyers and lobbyists, are fighting to prevent biosimilars from reaching the market and until someone can convince (or pay off) Congress to change some laws, I don’t see any help coming very soon. Mr. Lehman is a good start, but I think we’ll need a much, much more influential effort to combat the unconscionable greed of the drug companies.

    Reply
  • December 6, 2016 at 1:18 pm
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    The 2017 prescription costs via available Medicare Part D plans has skyrocketed. Not to mention, manufacturer promos and coupons are not honored with Part D plans. Two prescriptions I have rose to a copay of $150 per month when reaching the “Gap” ($35 per month prior to the “Gap”. I reached the “Gap” in August 2016 and will remain there through the end of the year.
    The full costs of these 2 medications, in 2017 rise to $1677 and $355 in Medicare D plans. Each of these meds do not have generic versions. So, my cost can be as much as $671 monthly for one of them and $143 monthly for the other. Averaged out, my 2017 out of pocket costs will rise $2500-$3000. This seems illegal but it isn’t. Comparably, these meds with private insurances would range from $0 (manufacturer coupons) per month to $45 copay. There is no logical explanation for such variance in costs. Drug manufacturers are exploiting Medicare D plans when generic alternatives are not offered. What is planned to curtail this going forward and making costs affordable? Too many retired people do not qualify for the low income assistance but certainly are not in a high income bracket.

    Reply
  • December 6, 2016 at 2:59 pm
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    Hello Mr. Pramik,
    Last year you answered a question I had about the top 5 Medigap carriers, top 5 Medicare Advantage Prescription Dug plans, and the top 3 Medigap Plan types, You also included the top prescription carriers. Could you please do that again for this year? Below I’ve pasted the text from your posting last year which included this info:

    Michael Pramik says:
    January 26, 2016 at 1:36 pm
    Cheryl,
    As of Dec. 31, the top five Medigap carriers were Humana, AARP from UnitedHealthcare, Medical Mutual of Ohio, Humana Connect and The Health Plan.

    The top five Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug plans were AARP Medicare Advantage, Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Coventry Health Care and Humana.

    The top three Medigap plan types were Plans F, N and G.

    The top prescription carriers were Humana, Silver Script, Coventry Health Care, Aetna and Cigna Health Spring.

    –Ohio PERS

    Reply

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