Rx COPAY INCREASES MAY BACKFIRE ON COST CUTTERS

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Employers hoping to reduce the rising cost of employeehealth coverage should think twice before raising prescriptiondrug copays for workers, researchers at Carnegie MellonUniversity found in a new study of health care expenses.

?What most employers don?t consider is that increasedcopays on drugs may lead to an increase in other types ofhealth care,? explained a spokesman for the researchers.

The authors of the study, published recently in Forum forHealth Economics and Policy, concluded that when prescriptioncopays rise employees react by buying fewer drugs, savingmoney for the employer. The higher copay requirements,however, also encourage workers to rely on health care ?substitutions.?This result leads to increased physician or emergencyroom visits, which are more costly in the long run.