Rising Healthcare Costs and Specialty Drugs Strain HR Professionals, New Study Reveals

May 16th, 2024 12:00 PM
By: HRmarketer Editorial

A new study by Aimed Alliance and's HR Research Institute highlights the growing challenges HR professionals face in providing affordable healthcare, particularly due to rising specialty drug costs. The report explores alternative funding programs and their implications for employers.

Rising Healthcare Costs and Specialty Drugs Strain HR Professionals, New Study Reveals

HR professionals are grappling with mounting pressure to provide affordable health insurance to employees, according to a recent study conducted by Aimed Alliance, the Alliance for Patient Access, and's Research Institute. The research, titled 'Managing Prescription Drug Costs 2023-24,' reveals that an overwhelming 88% of HR professionals express concerns about the rising cost of healthcare, with specialty drugs emerging as a significant driver of these expenses.

The study projects that specialty drug costs will reach approximately $311 billion in 2023, with three-quarters of medications in development falling into this category. This trend is putting considerable strain on employers' ability to offer comprehensive health coverage while managing costs effectively.

As HR professionals seek solutions to this growing challenge, the report examines the role of alternative funding programs (AFPs) in potentially reducing drug costs. However, the study finds that only 46% of respondents are familiar with AFPs, highlighting a knowledge gap in the industry. Moreover, the use of AFPs raises significant concerns, particularly regarding the sourcing of specialty drugs from international channels, which may have legal implications that many employers are unaware of.

The research indicates that self-funded plans are more likely to utilize AFPs, with 28% of self-insured employers currently employing them, compared to 16% overall. This disparity suggests that companies with greater control over their health plans are more willing to explore alternative cost-saving measures.

Debbie McGrath, Chief Instigator and CEO of, emphasized the gravity of the situation, stating, 'The impact of healthcare plans and these specialty drugs for employees that need them is forcing employers to think out of the box to reduce expenses. But they have to examine the risks and regulations of these alternatives.'

The implications of this study are far-reaching for the HR industry and business leadership. As healthcare costs continue to rise, HR professionals will need to become more adept at navigating complex healthcare options and understanding the legal and financial implications of various cost-saving strategies. This may necessitate additional training and education within the HR field to ensure professionals can make informed decisions that balance employee needs with organizational financial constraints.

Furthermore, the findings underscore the importance of transparency and communication between employers and employees regarding healthcare options and costs. HR departments may need to play a more active role in educating employees about the value of their benefits packages and the factors driving healthcare costs.

The study also highlights the potential for innovation in the healthcare and insurance industries. As traditional models of providing health coverage become increasingly strained, there may be opportunities for new solutions that can help manage costs while ensuring employees have access to necessary medications and treatments.

For business leaders, the research underscores the need to prioritize healthcare strategy as a key component of overall business planning. The rising costs of specialty drugs and healthcare, in general, have the potential to significantly impact a company's bottom line, making it crucial for executives to work closely with HR departments to develop sustainable approaches to employee health benefits.

As the healthcare landscape continues to evolve, HR professionals and business leaders alike will need to stay informed about emerging trends and potential solutions. The 'Managing Prescription Drug Costs 2023-24' report serves as a valuable resource for understanding the current state of healthcare cost management and the challenges that lie ahead for employers and HR departments.

Source Statement

This news article relied primarily on a press release disributed by You can read the source press release here,

blockchain registration record for the source press release.
Back To Top