According to 2recent studiesfrom Prime Therapeutics,patientsare more likely tocontinue on theirprescribed drugtherapies if theirinsurance copaysare lower. Thestudies showedthat pharmacy benefit designs thatencouraged the use of low-cost genericmedicines can have a considerable impacton helping members stay on track withtaking their medications. As a result,improved medication compliance leads tohealthier outcomes for patients and thereforereduced overall health plan costs.
The studies looked at the relationshipbetween medication use and pharmacybenefit design. They found that lowermember costs were associated with anotable improvement in medication-usepersistency, as measured by how manytimes prescriptions were refilled, over a 6-month period. For example, patients with$10 copays were 13% more likely toremain on their therapies, compared withpatients with $25 copays. Those with copaysof only $1 or no copay were 21%more likely than those who had to pay $25.
"These are important findings forhealth plans, employer groups, and theirmembers," said Patrick Gleason, PharmD,director of medical and pharmacy integrationservices for Prime. "Staying onmaintenance medications helps keepmembers healthy."