April 7, 2014
Topic: Human Resources
The university's prescription drug plan continued to outperform the national average for cost increases for the 11th consecutive year, according to the 2013 Prescription Drug Plan Annual Report.
Total drug costs for the U-M plan increased from $93.6 million in 2012 to $95.1 million in 2013, an increase of 1.7 percent, while the national average was 2.9 percent according to the Pharmacy Benefit Management Institute.
how to Use the mail order service
Register with NoviXus online or by calling 877-269-1160, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
Once a person is registered, doctors can e-prescribe or fax prescriptions to NoviXus. Members can also order refills, view drug history, track order deliveries and submit questions to the NoviXus pharmacist.
"With a self-administered plan, U-M has the ability to maintain costs through a number of ways that utilize our clinical and policy staff in the Benefits Office as well as faculty who lead various committees," said Keith Bruhnsen, prescription drug plan manager and assistant director in the Benefits Office.
"Some of those efforts include regularly reviewing vendor contracts to generate additional savings, encouraging the use of generics, and periodically reviewing member contributions, which continue to remain at or below national benchmarks."
Bruhnsen said faculty, staff and retirees can save money on hundreds of common maintenance medications — long-term prescriptions for drugs taken to control conditions like high blood pressure or cholesterol — through the university's mail order prescription drug program.
"Mail order offers the potential for great savings for both plan members and the university by lowering the co-pay costs for 90-day supplies of maintenance medications," Bruhnsen said.
By filling a 90-day prescription through the mail order service, faculty, staff and retirees can save the cost of one month's co-pay, amounting to $10 for generic drugs, $20 for preferred brand-name, and $45 for non-preferred brand-name drugs for most drug plan members. The savings increase with multiple medications over the course of a year.
Michigan-based NoviXus Pharmacy Services provides the mail order service to U-M, and filled more than 76,000 prescriptions for university plan members last year.
Mail order customers value the service, Bruhnsen said. "We hear very positive feedback about NoviXus. They are fast, reliable and even have a dedicated customer-service phone line for U-M plan members," he said.
Bob Randall, spouse of a U-M retiree and Florida resident, said he appreciates NoviXus's service.
"They search through and see when my prescriptions are close to expiring and call to see if I want to renew. If I have no more refills, they will call my doctor and have it ordered — that's a great plus!" Randall said.
According to the 2013 Prescription Drug Plan Annual Report, the average turnaround for a prescription filled at NoviXus is 0.76 days.
"Their delivery time is incredible. I've never had to wait more than four days to receive a prescription," said U-M retiree Chris Miller.