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White vs. Brown Bagging vs. Clear Bagging

White vs. Brown Bagging vs. Clear Bagging

In 2020, the total expenditure on prescription drugs will be $265 billion. This represents 49.6%. To reduce costs, payers are using white, clear, and brown bags, as well a ways to limit the sites of care at which patients receive specialty drugs. What are these “bagging” policies, what are the pros and cons, and what legislation has or is considered being passed to restrict payers ability to implement these programs. Today, I summarize a white paper from ICER titled “White Bagging, Brown Bagging, and Site of Service Policies: Best Practices in Addressing Provider Markup in the Commercial Insurance Market“. This is a continuation of my post from two years ago.


  • White bagging policies deliver drugs from specialty pharmacies directly to providers at the site of service where the drug will be administered (typically a physician’s office, HOPD, or home infusion provider). It is the responsibility of the provider to receive the drug delivery, unbox it, and store it until the patient has arrived and is ready to administer it. The moniker “white bagging” arises from the “white coats” of the providers who receive the drug from…

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