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Strategies for managing pharmacy, gene therapy, and GLP-1s with Doug Ramsthel and Jaclyn Rielly

In this episode of The Benefits Playbook, guests Doug Ramsthel and Jaclyn Rielly of Burnham Benefits discuss how the shift in pharmacy is affecting employers and members.


The Benefits Playbook is a podcast covering all things employee healthcare, brought to you by Collective Health. Each episode features an in-depth conversation between Sasha Yamaguchi, Commercial Leader at Collective Health, and an expert in the health benefits industry.

This episode of The Benefits Playbook takes a deep dive into the shift in pharmacy, from rising plan costs to changing access and affordability for members. Guests Doug Ramsthel, Executive Vice President and Partner at Burnham Benefits, and Jaclyn Rielly, Vice President of Burnham Benefits’ Irvine office, came together to share insights from their cumulative decades of experience helping employers design their benefits plans and navigate complex healthcare challenges.

Doug has worked with employers across the U.S. on their benefits plan strategy, design, and communication since 1986. He is a recognized specialist in self-funding and aims to help employers creatively reduce costs while not compromising the quality of the benefits offered to employees. He is also a co-founder of 360 Rx Solutions, a company dedicated to providing PBM transparency and value for self-funded employers.

Jaclyn has more than a decade of experience in employee benefits, with a proven track record of helping employers develop and implement growth-focused benefits strategies. 

In their conversation with our host, Sasha Yamaguchi, Doug and Jaclyn reflect on the changes they’ve seen in the industry with regards to pharmacy and drug prices, and how employers can best navigate these turning tides.

“If I can convert somebody from a drug where I’m getting a $382 rebate to a cheaper drug where my net cost is a lot lower, that’s a better benefit strategy. The only way to do that, in my opinion, is to take control as an employer. Self-fund and be able to start hitting these control buttons that will customize the plan, so you’re focusing on the right things.”

– Doug Ramsthel

Highlights from this episode include:

  • How the shift in pharmacy is affecting employers and members
  • A high-level overview of Doug’s book on the obesity crisis
  • A discussion of GLP-1s and gene therapy drugs
  • Jaclyn explains the value-based formulary idea

Listen to the full episode above, or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcast platform. 

Read the episode transcript here.

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