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Americans pay the most for prescription drugs and still don't take them
Date:1/8/2008

ited States is only partially explained by high out-of-pocket costs, Hirth said.

So, the researchers examined features of health policy across these 12 countries that might modify the relationship between out-of-pocket costs and non-adherence. There is some suggestion in the data that, in addition to modifying the absolute out-of-pocket burden, policies that craft exemptions from co-payments for targeted subpopulations may be particularly effective at reducing non-adherence.

Dialysis patients are the perfect study population because the condition and the treatment---kidney failure and dialysis---are similar everywhere, Hirth said. Prior research on drug adherence has almost always focused on data from a single country or has been based on different data sources across countries, obscuring the contributions of policy to any observed differences.

A recent survey showed that drug prices in the United States are 6 percent to 33 percent higher than in other industrialized countries, with only Japan having higher prices. There are two ways to control drug costs: regulate the price directly or via negotiation, and set the mechanism for how people pay, such as a co-pay or flat fee, and how you define who has to pay.

"Since we don't control the costs directly, we rely very heavily on out-of-pocket costs," Greer said. "If you can't control prices, you need to control the co-pays."


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Contact: Laura Bailey
baileylm@umich.edu
734-647-1848
University of Michigan
Source:Eurekalert

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