Merck and UnitedHealth join forces, collaboration aims to improvise on drug payment plans

June 05, 2017


UnitedHealth Group, the notable American company operating in global healthcare market, has collaborated with Merck & Co., one of the most renowned pharmaceutical companies across the globe, with an aim to enhance drug payment plans. In effect, the agreement has been signed to improve the performance of contractual reimbursement models in a way that prescription drug payments are fairly aligned with the health outcome of patients.

Reportedly, this collaboration will provide excellent reimbursement policies for the pharma companies based on the effectiveness of the drug. The accumulated healthcare data of patients will be used to enhance the impact of medicine on their health by analyzing their case history and medical records.

Insurers like UnitedHealth have apparently been encouraging doctors and hospitals to adopt value based reimbursement contracts since the last half a decade. As per reliable sources, since the last few months, insurers have mostly been focusing on new payment models to penetrate outcome-based risk sharing agreements or OBRSAs. Renowned biotech and pharma companies have been expressing their interests to sign such OBRSAs.

Top officials of Merck, the notable pharmaceutical market player, stated that such collaborations will influence the outcome of the patients’ health noticeably and is likely to provide a lucrative pathway for research organizations and industry giants to develop innovative and effective therapies as per the patients’ healthcare spending budget.

Experts predict that a collaboration like the above is likely to influence other pharmaceutical companies to sign agreements for cutting drug costs and investing considerably to improve the payment models. A top executive was quoted saying that the increasing trends toward such strategic partnerships will generate a significant interest in biotech and pharma firms.

Renowned market players are willing to share upcoming and new research data, future visions, and recommended facilities and information in the healthcare sector over the years ahead. This initiative will help to understand the practical use of OBRSAs, wherein payments will be provided to drug manufacturers depending upon the result obtained after performing the clinical therapies.

As per the latest reports, the returns on this collaboration is likely to postponed to many years ahead, however, both the industry biggies have stated that they will publicly share their data with other companies to come up with improvised, efficient payment models.

On similar lines, it has also been reported that UnitedHealth is intent on signing at least five to ten more such outcome-based deals by the end of 2017. Many other Medicare planners such as Cigna, Aetna, and Humana have also planned to collaborate with pharmaceutical companies to enter OBRSAs.