Transcarent, a healthcare platform for self-insured employers, announced Monday it would expand into the pharmacy benefit space.
The new offering, called Transcarent Pharmacy Care, will allow members to search for the lowest-cost drug option and compare prices across pharmacies. They can also transfer their prescription within Transcarent’s app and access 24/7 support if needed.
The company said the goal is to give employers more transparency into and control of their formulary and benefit design. Transcarent argues the offering can save employers money by using large pharmacy networks, integrating pharmacy and medical care, passing through rebates to plan sponsors, and eliminating spread pricing, where pharmacy benefit managers charge more for a drug than they reimburse to the pharmacy and keep the difference.
“There’s never been a good reason for employers to be uncertain about the true cost of their most utilized benefit offering,” Transcarent COO Snezana Mahon said in a statement. “The information that will now be available to employers will enable them to improve their benefits and the care they provide for their people, reduce costs and empower employees and their families to most effectively manage their prescription drug needs.”
THE LARGER TREND
High drug costs are a long-standing problem for the U.S. healthcare system. According to a report from the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists released this spring, total drug spending grew 7.7% in 2021 and is expected to continue to rise this year.
A survey published last month found Medicare beneficiaries were concerned about the impact of inflation on healthcare costs, particularly for prescription drugs and Part B premiums. The Inflation Reduction Act, which was signed into law last month, allows Medicare for the first time to negotiate drug prices for 10 high-cost drugs, starting in 2026.
Transcarent emerged from stealth in March 2021, led by Livongo vet Glen Tullman. The startup announced a $58 million Series B raise in June that year, and a $200 million Series C early in 2022.
It’s also been adding new offerings this year. In April, the company revealed Transcarent Oncology Care, aimed at helping members find cancer care institutes, oncology providers and appropriate clinical trials. It also launched a behavioral health program earlier this spring that helps patients find in-person or virtual therapy.