As spending on specialty drugs continues to rise, payers are implementing various utilization management strategies in an effort to rein in their costs. While prior authorization and step therapy are perhaps the most common tactics, other approaches, such as quantity limits, site-of-care optimization and dose optimization also can be successful tools, as evidenced by one specialty pharmacy’s recent announcement.
In September, AllianceRx Walgreens Pharmacy revealed that its use of dose optimization resulted in $6.2 million in savings in 2021. The strategy reduces the number of dispensed units of an oral, injectable or infusible agent while delivering the same appropriate dose. Some manufacturers charge the same or similar price for different doses of a drug, so if a patient is given a prescription for two 10 mg tablets per day, and a 20 mg tablet is available, it can be more efficient and economical for the patient to take the single 20 mg tablet.