New Initiative Allows Pharmacists to Assist Patients with Copay Cards

About 1000 patients are helped each month to reduce their costs for medications through the initiative.

An initiative begun this year by HealthPartners and Park Nicollet, ensures that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians across the partners' retail pharmacies and mail order pharmacy business can assist patients in reducing out-of-pocket costs for medications by helping them apply for manufacturer copay cards and processing their claims.1

About 1000 patients are helped each month to reduce their costs for medications through the initiative, according to HealthPartners. From January to June, HealthPartners and Park Nicollet pharmacies helped patients save about $1 million. Patients with diabetes account for approximately 30% benefit from the initiative, which is saving each of these patients an average of $125 every month.1

“Cost is a top reason why people do not take medications as prescribed or do not fill them at all,” said Mike Haag, HealthPartners Director of Pharmacy Operations, in a prepared statement.1 “While anyone can apply for the copay cards, many patients don’t know that they are available, and the application and billing process can be challenging.”

The copay cards include brand name medications and cover a large portion of the patient’s share of a drug’s cost. There is no income limit to use them, and the cards are typically valid for 1 year and can be used by patients with commercial insurance.

A recent study by the University of Southern California found that of the top 200 drugs by spending, only 90 brand name drugs had coupons available, half of which were for drugs with no generic substitute.2 According to HealthPartners, the pharmacy teams assist with applying for the cards when a less expensive generic alternative medication is not available.1

References

  • HealthPartners pharmacies save patients $1 million on medications using copay coupons [news release]. Bloomington, MI; July 30, 2019: HealthPartners. [email] Accessed July 30, 2019.
  • Van Nuys, Karen et al. A Perspective on Prescription Drug Copayment Coupons. University of South California. Published February 20, 2018. https://healthpolicy.usc.edu/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/2018.02_Prescription20Copay20Coupons20White20Paper_Final-1.pdf. Accessed July 30, 2019.