PBMs play role in personalizing medications for children

June 20, 2014

Pharmacy benefits managers are paying attention to medications that specifically target children

By Mari Edlin

Pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs) are paying attention to medications that specifically target children. Prime Therapeutics, a PBM in Eagan, Minnesota, considers all age groups when its pharmacy and therapeutics committee reviews drugs for formulary. For example, ethosuximide, a drug for seizures that has pediatric safety and effectiveness data, is included on formulary specifically for the pediatric population.

“Prime evaluates all drugs for an opportunity to improve the quality and safety of their use regardless of the age group for which they will be used,” says David Lassen, PharmD, chief clinical officer. “We follow scientific treatment guidelines and published clinical evidence to establish utilization management programs.”.

Similar to Prime, Express Scripts, a PBM based in St. Louis, builds its national formularies to serve large patient populations of all ages. “We have a pediatrician on the P&T Committee who helps assess new and existing medications and ensures that the needs of pediatrics and pediatricians are being met,” says Monique Parr, MD, director of clinical therapeutics.

“Pediatric dosing is incorporated into concurrent drug utilization programs used by Express Scripts,” she says. “We follow the drug labels and guidelines established by the FDA for pediatric dosing of drugs. In addition, safety programs such as RationalMed incorporate pediatric guidelines and age-based considerations.”