Pharmacy Costs and Trends: Coalition Works Towards Solutions


Albuquerque, N.M. – In the U.S., prescription drug costs are nearly 20 percent of the total dollars spent for healthcare.  Last year alone, estimates show spending increased 13 percent with the overall price tag for prescription drugs roughly at $225 billion.

"Instead of lamenting the issue, the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Value (Coalition) has set its sights on working towards solutions and will be hosting a summit that will focus on pharmacy costs, what the pharmaceutical drug spending is in the U.S. and what is going on within New Mexico," Coalition Executive Director Patricia Montoya, said. "The Coalition will look at how this affects employers and our government programs, including Medicaid, which now has more than half a million enrollees."

The free summit, "The Pharmacy Drug Cost Puzzle—Finding and Fitting the Missing Pieces Together," is set for Tuesday, May 2, 2017, beginning with registration at 8 a.m. at the Anderson-Abruzzo Albuquerque International Balloon Museum, 9201 Balloon Museum Drive NE, in Albuquerque.

Montoya pointed out that:

  • one out of every 10 healthcare dollars spent is for prescriptions, and the cost is rising;
  • 113 million Americans take a prescription;
  • annual out-of-pocket costs are at $790 per person; and 
  • 11 percent of Americans spend $1200 or more a year on prescriptions.
"The Coalition’s mission is always focused on enhancing value and our hopes are that this summit will prompt discussion among New Mexico employers about value-based pricing for drugs," Montoya said.   

"We know that employers have seen their pharmacy costs rise and their pharmacy spending account for a greater share of their total health spending. They are looking for innovative ways to manage their pharmacy costs," she said.  "There is an influx of new specialty drugs and even higher cost generics that are driving this increase cost trend."

OptumRx Senior Vice President and Chief Medical Officer Dr. Sumit Dutta and David Uldricks, JD, LLM, vice president PBM Contracting and Strategy, Employers Health, will address National Pharmacy Costs and Trends, to kick off the summit.

Other topics on the agenda include an overview of pharmacy costs with a New Mexico perspective, as well as a look at pharmacy benefit management, its history, different structures and how they operate.

You must preregister in order to attend since space is limited. To register, go to the Coalition’s webpage at: and click on the button that says "Register Now."

Participants from New Mexico health plans including Blue Cross Blue Shield, Molina Healthcare New Mexico, New Mexico Health Connections and Presbyterian Health Plan are scheduled to join the summit.

The New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Value is an employer-led, multi-stakeholder coalition working to improve health and maximize the value of healthcare services by focusing on the following components – quality, transparency and cost. Our mission at the New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Value is to be an innovative force for creating the value of healthcare and we have a vision to have New Mexico as a national leader in healthy lifestyles and quality care. 


The New Mexico Coalition for Healthcare Value -- Better Care, Smarter Spending and Healthier People.