With the cost of pharmaceuticals consuming an ever-increasing proportion of health benefit expenditures, many employers are responding by adding pricing tiers to their drug plan designs. The move is being driven partly by the exorbitant cost and increasing utilization of specialty drugs.

“A few years ago pharma claims were around 10% of the claim total, and now it’s closer to 25% for many employers,” says Carol Taylor, employee benefit adviser with Roanoke, Va.-based D&S Agency. D&S is a member of the UBA network of benefit firms, which recently published pharma plan data from its latest health plan survey.

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