Coupons and Discount Copays: Benefits for Pharmacists and Their Patients

Kirk McKay, Managing Editor
Published Online: Friday, December 20, 2013
Pharmacists can help their patients access searchable coupons for prescription and OTC products and discount copay programs through Cou-Co™, a first-of-its-kind mobile-optimized website.

Health care–related coupons and discount copay programs are becoming increasingly popular as patients spend more of their own money on high-deductible health insurance plans and higher copays. According to a survey by Pharmacy Times, nearly 70% of pharmacists encounter patients seeking copay cards at least a few times per week, and 77% of pharmacists use copay cards at least once per day.1
 
The benefits of coupons and discount copays go beyond cost savings. When medication is more affordable, patients may be less likely to go without it or switch to a less expensive medication that may not be optimal. Nearly 60% of pharmacists agree that copay cards improve medication adherence among their patients.1
 
Extending these benefits to mobile users makes sense given that 74% of Americans use a smartphone and 52% use a tablet.2 Likewise, nearly 70% of pharmacists use a smartphone or tablet and two-thirds say they would find a mobile database of copay cards useful.1
 
“With drug cost information accessible from your phone, individuals can start shopping,” said Dan Pollard, PhD, MBA, founder of myDrugCosts. “Changes in purchase behavior have immediate and long-term effects on health care costs for both individuals and employers. A single shopping decision to switch to a lower-cost drug can result in health care savings of more than $1000 a year for multiple years.”3
 
To address the need for mobile accessibility to coupons and discount copay programs, Pharmacy Times offers Cou-Co™—a first-of-its-kind, mobile-optimized website for pharmacists and consumers. Pharmacists can direct patients to www.Cou-Co.com on their mobile devices to access searchable coupons for prescription and OTC products, discount copay programs, and educational resources by therapeutic area. It’s fitting that, as the most accessible health care professionals, pharmacists can use a tool such as Cou-Co™ to improve their patients’ accessibility to health care cost savings and educational resources—factors that can help patients make informed decisions and adhere to treatment.
 
References
  1. Co-pay mobile device survey. Pharmacy Times. December 2012.
  2. Frank N. Magid Associates, Inc. The heartbeat of connected culture: Magid smartphone and tablet study 2013. http://magid.com/magid-mobile-study. Accessed December 16, 2013.
  3. Pollard D. A pharmacy on every corner or prescription drug costs on every phone? www.pharmacytimes.com/publications/Directions-in-Pharmacy/2013/April2013/A-Pharmacy-on-Every-Corner-or-Prescription-Drug-Costs-on-Every-Phone. Accessed December 16, 2013.


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