Seeking to address rising prescription drug costs, UnitedHealthcare (UNH) said Tuesday that it will pass along some rebates that the big insurer receives from drug makers, a move that may provide relief to a small portion of consumers, but was also criticized for failing to address the larger problem of rising medicine prices.

Starting next year, the insurer will redirect a majority of rebates for around 7.5 million people, and expects to reduce costs from just a few dollars to more than $1,000 for each prescription. However, the initiative will not include an estimated 18.6 million consumers who are covered by so-called self-insured plans, in which employers pay for health care benefits.

Unlock this article by subscribing to STAT Plus and enjoy your first 30 days free!

GET STARTED

What is it?

STAT Plus is STAT's premium subscription service for in-depth biotech, pharma, policy, and life science coverage and analysis. Our award-winning team covers news on Wall Street, policy developments in Washington, early science breakthroughs and clinical trial results, and health care disruption in Silicon Valley and beyond.

What's included?

  • Daily reporting and analysis
  • The most comprehensive industry coverage from a powerhouse team of reporters
  • Subscriber-only newsletters
  • Daily newsletters to brief you on the most important industry news of the day
  • Online intelligence briefings
  • Frequent opportunities to engage with veteran beat reporters and industry experts
  • Exclusive industry events
  • Premium access to subscriber-only networking events around the country
  • The best reporters in the industry
  • The most trusted and well-connected newsroom in the health care industry
  • And much more
  • Exclusive interviews with industry leaders, profiles, and premium tools, like our CRISPR Trackr.

Leave a Comment

Please enter your name.
Please enter a comment.

  • Assuming Mr hill is correct in this – “The problem with the model is the vast majority of rebates are generated by a small number of beneficiaries taking expensive brand and specialty drugs. ” – would that explain why the PBMs have gotten less attention until now? This really only took off with EpiPen and Heather Bresch, as I remember.

A roundup of STAT’s top stories of the day in science and medicine

Privacy Policy