Big Pharma Goes Groupon
Surely something is wrong with our system when more patients are turning to online copay coupons and magazine promotions to help pay for brand name prescriptions. According to Dr. Kevin Pho, writing in USA Today, last year 19 million Americans have used these incentives to fill their brand name prescriptions. Dr. Pho concludes these deals may be good for Big Pharma, as more and more name brand drugs lose their patent protection; in the long run are not so good for patients/payers.
A perfect example of this is the generic statin drug (Simvastatin) which is well tolerated and very effective for treating cholesterol. Its not sexy and you won’t see it pushed on TV. However, the monthly co-pay averages only $10 per month and the cost to the insurer is nominal.
Unfortunately, when patients demand Lipitor with a discounted copay coupon, the insurer may pay over $100 per month. All situations are different and sometimes only brand name drugs will do, but you always need to look behind the curtain of slick marketing.
We facilitate communication between patient, doctor and payer. It’s important to do the math and understand there is no free lunch and that many drug coupon/incentive deals come with a catch.
Call Us. We can do better.
William Faris, JD
Chief Executive Officer
Posted in Bill's Favorite Files