Navigation Links
Dispensing prescription drugs in 3-month supplies reduces drug costs by a third
Date:11/20/2009

Purchasing prescription drugs in a three-month supply rather than a one-month supply has long been regarded as a way to reduce the cost of drugs for patients and third-party payers. New research from the University of Chicago quantifies the savings for the first time.

An analysis of 26,852 prescriptions filled for 395 different drugs from 2000-2005 showed that patients who purchased their drugs in three-month supplies rather than with one-month supplies saved on average 29% in out-of-pocket costs. After factoring in third-party payers, including Medicare, Medicaid and insurance companies, total savings averaged 18%.

"These savings may not seem large to some, but they could help trim the cost of health care, which is especially important given the nationwide debate about how to finance health care reform," said G. Caleb Alexander, MD, MS, Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago Medical Center and senior author of the study, which will be published in print November 20, 2009, in Applied Health Economics & Health Policy.

Although prescription drug costs represent only about 10% of the nation's total health care bill, they are one of the fastest growing sectors and affect a large proportion of patients.

"No matter what any health care reform package looks like, millions of Americans are burdened by prescription drugs costs, and this is one important way to help relieve that burden," Alexander said. "Other methods to lower prescription drug costs include substituting generic drugs for brand-name drugs and discontinuing non-essential medicines."

The drugs in this study were limited to those that were prescribed for common chronic conditions, including high cholesterol, hypertension, hypothyroidism and depression. Only patients who received both a one-month supply and a three-month supply during the same year in the same dose and quantity were included in the main analyses.

Forty-four percent of the prescriptions examined were dispensed in three-month supplies; the remainder were dispensed in one-month supplies. "This indicates that there is a significant amount of cost savings yet to be realized by converting from one-month supplies to three-month supplies," Alexander said.

The average monthly out-of-pocket cost for a one-month supply was $20.44 compared with $15.10 for a three-month supply yielding a 29% savings after adjustment for potential confounders. The corresponding numbers for the average monthly total costs were $42.72 and $37.95, respectively, yielding an 18% savings after adjustment for potential confounders.

If all the drugs in the study had been provided as three-month supplies, the out-of-pocket savings would have amounted to an estimated $148.6 million. Total savings would have amounted to $245.1 million. All figures are in 2005 dollars.

Patients' sex, race, level of education and number of chronic conditions did not seem to predict who was most likely to fill a 3-month supply, Alexander said. "We were surprised to find that there were no substantial systematic differences in the characteristics of individuals filling one-month and three-month supplies."

"Patients who are paying a lot each month for medicinesespecially to treat chronic conditionsshould investigate whether they can save money by using a three-month supply," he said. "Physicians need to keep this in mind as a potent way to help patients afford their medications."


'/>"/>

Contact: Greg Borzo
greg.borzo@uchospitals.edu
773-795-0892
University of Chicago Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert  

Related medicine news :

1. Kirby Lesters New KL60: The Pharmacy Industrys First and Only Compact, Fully-Automated Dispensing System
2. A Drug-Dispensing Contact Lens
3. WellDyneRx Unveils Second Pharmacy Mail Service Facility Using Innovations High Volume Prescription Dispensing Technology
4. Physician Dispensing Wins In A Landslide Majority Of Enhancing Patient Experience
5. Medco Reports Strong First-Quarter Results; Record EPS, Mail-Order Volume, Generic Dispensing Rates
6. Union Labor Life Selects Prescription Solutions To Provide Pharmacy Benefit Management Services
7. Sharing Prescriptions Can Bring Harm, Not Healing
8. Mental Health America Partners With Prescription Audio To Donate $5M in PTSD Treatment Products to Veterans, Active Duty, Families, Providers
9. D.A.R.E Partners with MedSafe to Tackle Teen Prescription and Over the Counter Drug Abuse at Home
10. Pay Less for Prescription Drugs
11. More than 6 Million Helped by Partnership for Prescription Assistance
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Dispensing prescription drugs in 3-month supplies reduces drug costs by a third
(Date:6/26/2016)... Creek, Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... joined as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in ... in honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 ... ... will discuss health policy issues and applications at AcademyHealth’s Annual Research Meeting June ... share their work on several important health care topics including advance care planning, ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... Beach, CA (PRWEB) , ... June 25, 2016 , ... ... UCLA with Magna Cum Laude and his M.D from the David Geffen School of ... Diego and returned to Los Angeles to complete his fellowship in hematology/oncology at the ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... ... Those who have experienced traumatic events may suffer from a complex set ... drug or alcohol abuse, as a coping mechanism. To avoid this pain and suffering, ... traumatic event. , Trauma sufferers tend to feel a range of emotions, from depression, ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Dr. Amanda Cheng, ... treatment. Dr. Cheng has extensive experience with all areas of orthodontics, including robotic ... osteogenic orthodontics. , Micro-osteoperforation is a revolutionary adjunct to orthodontic treatment. It ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... , Belgium , June 24, ... VNRX), today announced the appointment of Dr. ... Directors as a Non-Executive Director, effective June 23, ... Audit, Compensation and Nominations and Governance Committees.  As ... Futcher will provide independent expertise and strategic counsel ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... June 23, 2016 Any dentist who has made ... the current process. Many of them do not even offer ... difficulties and high laboratory costs involved. And those who ARE ... at such a high cost that the majority of today,s ... Dr. Parsa Zadeh , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Research and Markets has announced the addition ... - Forecast to 2022" report to their offering. ... to date financial data derived from varied research sources to ... potential impact on the market during the next five years, ... of sub markets, regional and country level analysis. The report ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: