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New Study Finds 1 in 4 Multiple Sclerosis Patients With High Out-of-Pocket Costs Not Filling Prescriptions
Date:6/17/2009

Avoiding medications may adversely affect patient care and increase health care costs

ST. PAUL, Minn., June 17 /PRNewswire/ -- One in four multiple sclerosis (MS) patients are declining to fill their prescriptions likely due to high out-of-pocket costs, according to new research conducted by pharmacy benefits manager Prime Therapeutics (Prime). The study found that patients with an out-of-pocket expense greater than $250 were seven times more likely to decline to fill their prescription than patients with an out-of-pocket cost of $100 or less. The study concluded that this increase in the number of patients who decline to fill their MS specialty prescriptions and do not continue taking the necessary MS medications may adversely affect long term patient care.

According to the study, the majority of individuals had an out-of-pocket expense of $150 or less and their decline to fill rate was 5.8 percent. For individuals with an out-of-pocket expense of greater than $150 the decline to fill rate was 27.0 percent.

"Specialty pharmacy costs are rising and insurers are focusing on ways to best manage costs, including increasing out-of-pocket costs for members," said Patrick Gleason, PharmD, FCCP, BCPS, lead author and Director of Clinical Outcomes Assessment at Prime Therapeutics. "Our research suggests members who pay high out-of-pocket costs are declining to fill their prescription. Patients who aren't taking their medications face serious medical and health complications, which could result in substantial medical or hospitalization expenses for both the patient and health insurer. Health insurers should consider member cost and the impact it has on adherence when designing specialty pharmacy benefits. "

Multiple sclerosis specialty medications (Avonex(R), Rebif(R), Betaseron(R) or Copaxone(R)) have a typical average wholesale price of $2,500 per month supply, $30,000 annually. Due to the potentia
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SOURCE Prime Therapeutics LLC
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