Coronavirus resource spotlight: Scripta’s drug substitution search tool

The company is giving employers free access to a tool that helps employees find prescription drug alternatives—and can help lower employers’ healthcare costs.
By: | May 12, 2020 • 2 min read

Here’s a look at a resource that allow employees to find alternatives to their prescription drugs—now available free of charge during the pandemic.

What it is: Scripta’s Drug Substitution Search Tool

The benefit company’s drug substitution search tool allows users to search up to 10 prescription medications they need alternatives for. These suggestions can help limit trips to the pharmacy and maintain social distancing rules, the company says. The tool also includes tips around ordering and picking up medications from Scripta’s doctors and pharmacists.

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Scripta’s database is typically offered only as a member benefit through health plans to find savings on prescriptions. But due to the current landscape, the Drug Substitution Search Tool is available to everyone free of charge “during this critical time so everyone stays safe and protects their health,” the company says. The tool is available on the company’s website.

Why it’s helpful: Supply chain disruptions and hoarding, as a result of the coronavirus pandemic in particular, can cause situations where employees are not able to get the drugs they need, explains Scripta CEO Eric Levin. The tool helps them by suggesting similar drugs that may be smart substitutes. As a result, he says, employees are able to advocate for themselves and have an informed head start on a discussion with their doctor.

The software also is critical for HR managers “because the prescription marketplace is extremely complex, requires a great deal of specific knowledge around clinical issues and changes daily,” he says. “This results in companies and their employees dramatically overspending on pharmacy benefits. The inefficiency impacts and siphons funds that could otherwise be used to improve benefits or make them more affordable.”

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Other insights: Making sure employees get their drugs on time, and take them as directed, is one of the best ways for employers to reduce overall healthcare costs, Levin says. “This helps avoid unnecessary medical visits and expensive emergency visits. Additionally, during this pandemic crisis, we know that people with comorbidities fare much worse should they be infected with COVID-19,” he says. “By keeping employees at a healthy baseline, we keep them at work, we get them back to work faster and we help contain costs.”

For more free benefits resources, check out this list from HRE.

Kathryn Mayer is HRE’s benefits editor and chair of the Health & Benefits Leadership Conference. She has covered benefits for the better part of a decade, and her stories have won multiple awards, including a Jesse H. Neal Award and honors from the American Society of Business Publication Editors and the National Federation of Press Women. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Denver. She can be reached at kmayer@lrp.com.