September 29, 2011

Ayres, McHenry & Associates conducted a telephone survey of 400 owners and human resource managers of small businesses — those with 100 or fewer employees — to assess their views on pharmacy benefits and potential changes to regulations covering prescription drug plans.

The results show widespread satisfaction with pharmacy benefits among companies that offer these benefits, strong interest in reducing both employee out-of-pocket and company costs, and widespread support for approaches to dealing with prescription drugs that maximize flexibility for employers.

Small businesses disagree with the drugstore and drug company lobbies on the following issues:

  • Small businesses want access to plans that exclude expensive drugstores from their networks. 61 percent say it is a good idea to “allow employers to choose lower cost plans that exclude the most expensive drugstores from their coverage network.
  • Seventy-four percent oppose mandating across-the-board, low co-pays for high-priced drugs. By a 2-1 margin, small businesses think it would be better to require drug companies to offer case-by-case price discounts to those in need.
  • Small businesses want to hold drugstores accountable. 88 percent say it is a good idea to “allow plans to audit drugstores that appear to be overcharging.”
  • Small businesses want access to plans that encourage delivery of prescription drugs through the mail. 79 percent say it is a good idea to “allow plans to offer discounts that encourage employees to get prescriptions by mail.”

Key findings from the survey.