September 13, 2016

This survey of 400 small business owners and medium-to-large business executives, conducted online July 26-29, 2016, shows that business leaders are overwhelmingly satisfied with the drug benefits they are able to provide to their employees, and think the private sector is better able to manage their prescription drug benefits than the federal government.

Key findings from the survey include:

  • When it comes to pharmacy benefits, employers’ top concern is reducing costs. When asked to choose their top two most important objectives, 54% cited reducing overall costs and 45% cited reducing premiums and other out-of-pocket costs for consumers. Very few cited contracting issues such as “transparency” of payments to drugstores (9%) or rebates to pharmacy benefits managers (4%) as a priority.
  • By more than a two-to-one margin, employers think private companies are better able than the federal government to manage prescription drug benefits. Seventy percent think the private sector is better equipped than government to manage pharmacy benefits.
  • Three-fifths of these business leaders believe adding new government health regulations would raise prescription drug prices. While most employers think drug companies are primarily to blame for higher costs (54%) even more think new government mandates would make the problem worse. Sixty percent of employers say new government interventions would lead to higher prices while only 18% say they would lower prices. The other 22% say new policies would have no effect on prices.
  • Despite concerns about drug prices, nine-in-ten employers are satisfied with their existing pharmacy benefits. While reducing prescription drug costs is their top priority, these business leaders are satisfied with the drug benefits they can provide by a 91% to 9% margin. Not surprisingly, then, 95% of these owners and executives are satisfied with the company they’ve hired to that manage their prescription drug benefits.
  • Of the three-quarters of companies that offer mail service pharmacy to their employees, more than nine-in-ten say their employees are satisfied with the service. Seventy-six percent of owners and executives say their company offers mail service pharmacy as part of their prescription drug benefits; among those, 95% say their employees are satisfied with mail service pharmacy. Also, companies that offer mail service pharmacy are more satisfied (92%) with their benefits than those that do not (84%).

Read the complete report.