Blue Shield of California's pharmacy initiative reaches $20M in drug cost savings


Blue Shield of California's pharmacy initiative with San Francisco-based technology company Gemini Health resulted in drug cost savings of $20 million in its first two years.

The collaboration provides physicians and pharmacists with real-time prescription information and lower-cost alternatives for patients. Currently, 77,000 California prescribers use the service, according to a May 26 news release.

"The Blue Shield service helps to efficiently analyze a patient's current medications," EPIC Health Plan CMO Raymond Chan, MD, said in the statement. "We can then interact with our physician colleagues and provide them with specific opportunities to lower costs for our patients. In addition, the detailed reporting makes it easier to measure the impact of our work and follow up on new opportunities."

Forty percent of patients' existing medications have a lower-cost alternative, the news release said.

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