Every quarter, we take a look at our most popular tweets from the previous quarter, and reflect on what we can learn from them. After all, we are offering a variety of different information to our followers, so if certain kinds of information is more popular than others, that’s a good indicator that our audience wants more of that kind of information.
For the fourth quarter of 2017, we had something very interesting happen. All of our top 3 tweets were about organizations and/or events other than Express Scripts Canada. Which is great, since we are all about partnerships and collaboration.
To clarify, these are our top tweets not in terms of number of eyeballs on them, but by engagement. These are the tweets that prompted people to like, reply or retweet.
This tweet from October followed up a talk by our very own John Herbert at Benefits Canada’s Pharmacy Solutions Conference. The topic of the presentation was “The Sustainability of Private Drug Plans in Canada”. John presented data from Express Scripts Canada’s 2016 Drug Trend Report, and made a strong case for Comprehensively Managed Prescription Drug Plans as the best solution to rising drug costs.
The biggest threat to the sustainability of Canadian drug plans is the proliferation of high-cost specialty medications. And patients using these medications represent the greatest opportunity for cost savings. By providing more support to these patients and helping them make better decisions about their medication, we can have the greatest positive impact on sustainability.
Benefits Canada is an important partner for Express Scripts Canada as they provide vehicles like this conference that allow us to communicate with leaders in the health insurance industry, and continue to lead the dialogue on the future of prescription drug benefits in this country. Many of our followers would also be interested in content being shared by Benefits Canada, so it makes good sense to continue to share this kind of information going forward.
Industry associations play an important role in contributing to a national dialogue on key issues. In November, Innovative Medicines, which is the association that represents pharmaceutical companies, and the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA), the association that represents life and health insurers, jointly released the results of a survey conducted by Nanos Research, asking Canadians whether or not they take their prescribed medications, and if not, why.
The survey revealed that only 1% of Canadians who got a prescription in the last six months failed to take the prescribed medication due to cost considerations. This finding contradicts claims by some that the number is closer to 10%.
The findings add important context to the national conversation around the relative merits of creating a national pharmacare program. This is a debate that Express Scripts Canada, and the entire insurance community, is watching with keen interest, so it stands to reason our followers would want the latest “scoop”.
In our top spot, once again, are our friends at CLHIA. Karen Voin, CLHIA’s Vice President of Group Benefits and Anti-Fraud, was kind enough to write a guest blog for us in December about the value of health insurance. Our tweet about that blog was our most popular tweet of the fourth quarter. And why not? With all the myriad issues facing the industry, it was as good a time as any to remind Canadians of the vital role played by health insurers.
In summary, 80% of working Canadians and their families are covered by some kind of private insurance plan, most often through their employers. In 2016, private insurers delivered $32.5 billion in benefits to Canadians, including $11 billion for prescription drugs. So how do Canadians feel about these benefits? Well, 94% of respondents to a Sanofi-Aventis survey said that prescription drug benefits were either somewhat important or very important to them.
Karen goes on to explain that new and emerging drugs are made available much more quickly by private health insurers, getting Canadians the treatment they need, when they need it.
Private health insurance is an essential service that provides peace of mind, and in some cases life-saving treatment, for millions of Canadians. What better topper to 2017 than a simple tweet about the core of our business, why we do what we do, and what it means to Canadians?