In the never-ending fight to reduce health care costs, automakers and suppliers are trying a variety of home remedies.
Many companies try to cut costs by keeping their employees healthier through consultation with health-care professionals, on-site workout centers and even programs to help workers quit smoking.
In the latest twist, two automakers have opened pharmacies at their factories to cut the cost of prescription drugs, a large component of total health-care costs. The object isn't to make a profit or compete with local businesses, just to save money.
Toyota Motor Manufacturing and BMW eliminate the retail mark-up by buying directly from pharmaceutical companies. To cut costs, Toyota's health-care plan requires employees to buy certain maintenance drugs covered by insurance through the company pharmacy, just as if your insurance company had a mail-in plan.
It makes perfect sense, even though there may be some privacy concerns about how much the company -- and your co-workers -- know about your health. But if you don't like it, you always have the option of paying for your own meds, right?
This drugs-at-work thing could catch on. So in addition to a nurse, a gym and a health center, don't be surprised to find a drug store at work.
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