Navigation Links
Researchers propose consumers buy yearly 'drug licenses' as new way to pay for prescriptions
Date:1/22/2008

Changing the way consumers pay for prescription drugs so that the system more closely resembles paying for cell phones or computer software could increase drug use without altering patients out-of-pocket spending, health plan costs or drug company profits, according to a new RAND Corporation study.

Researchers propose that consumers pay an annual license fee that would entitle them to a years worth of medicine for each prescription they take on an ongoing basis, with a very small or no co-payment for each monthly supply.

Such a system could be used to pay for medicines that treat chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes or asthma without increasing the cost to consumers and may reduce the periods when patients go without such medicines because of the cost, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs.

We propose a fundamentally new way for consumers to pay for medicines that are taken for long periods of time to treat chronic health conditions, said Dana Goldman, corporation chair in health economics and director of the Bing Center for Health Economics at RAND, a nonprofit research organization. We believe this approach can help improve patient care without costing anyone more money.

Researchers suggest that a pilot study be organized with the cooperation of health insurers and drug manufacturers to test the benefits of the proposal.

The two-part pricing scheme outlined by researchers is used to pay for products in many areas outside the medical world. Payments for Internet service, cable and satellite television, all-you-can-eat buffets and country club memberships are all examples of the pricing plan. Consumers pay a set fee to cover a period of time, with unlimited access to the services. Consumers can use as much or as little as they need.

Maybe the best example of the pricing plan is computer software, researchers say. Instead of paying a fee every time a computer is turned on, consumers pay a one-time fee to buy a license for unlimited use of a companys computer software operating system, for example.

What makes pharmaceuticals similar to these products -- and different from other health services -- are the very low costs of production and the existence of few good substitutes, researchers say.

The article in Health Affairs outlines how a drug-licensing system might be used to pay for statin drugs -- the most-popular form of prescription medication used to treat high cholesterol. Researchers examined the current costs of the drugs and how the new pricing plan might affect patient compliance -- whether patients are taking drugs as prescribed by their physicians.

Researchers propose that consumers pay a $195 fee for an annual license for the statin drugs -- equal to what most consumers now pay out of their own pockets each year if they have insurance plans that require $25 per-prescription co-payments. Insurance companies would pay an additional $374 to drug companies for each statin license.

Because there would be no monthly out-of-pocket payments for consumers, researchers suggest that patients would be more likely to take their prescriptions. Analyzing past research about the impact of rising co-payments on patient compliance, researchers suggest the average annual use among patients taking statins would climb from 7.8 months to 9.8 months under the new pricing plan.

The increased use of the medication among patients may result in fewer long-term health problems and lower overall costs to insurance providers, according to the study.

The up-front cost may discourage some patients from starting drugs, but that could be overcome by allowing monthly payment plans, Goldman said. Research suggests that eliminating or greatly reducing co-payments for individual prescriptions will encourage patients to stick with their medicine regimes and that will improve the quality of medical care.

Spending on prescription drugs has outpaced the growth in total spending on health care in the United States, growing 10 percent from 1998 to 2003 compared to 5 percent growth in all health care costs.

Rising drug costs have caused many insurance plans to increase the co-payments made by consumers, leading to greater concerns about patients skipping medications because of cost. Physicians regularly distribute free samples to patients and some insurance plans have even begun requesting that enrollees engage in pill splitting -- dividing higher-dose tablets to avoid buying additional prescriptions.


'/>"/>
Contact: Warren Robaik
robak@rand.org
310-451-6913
RAND Corporation
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Pros, cons of drug proven to prevent prostate cancer should be considered, researchers recommend
2. DOE awards supercomputing time to UCSD, SDSC researchers
3. Argonnes Blue Gene/P to host large cadre of INCITE researchers
4. Researchers Hone in on Cancer Stem Cells for Melanoma
5. Anyone can save a life: Penn researchers lead national efforts to improve CPR quality
6. Researchers find new way to block destructive rush of immune cells
7. U of M researchers create beating heart in laboratory
8. Researchers challenge previous findings regarding widely used asthma treatment
9. UT Health Science Center researchers decoding saliva to detect breast cancer
10. Protein power: Researchers trigger insulin production in diabetic mice
11. Researchers use neuroimaging to study ESP
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:10/13/2017)... (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... As health ... medicine known as “patient engagement.” The patient is doing more than filling out a ... , “There is an increasing emphasis in health care and research on the ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... The American Board of Family Medicine's (ABFM) ... and Chief Executive Officer, succeeding Dr. James C. Puffer upon his retirement. Dr. Newton ... until Dr. Puffer’s retirement at the end of 2018. Upon assuming the role of ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... Nevada (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... Hemp CBD Oil utilizing Purzorb™ technology. Applying the Purzorb™process to full spectrum CBD oil ... required and providing a CBD form that can be easily incorporated into liquid products, ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... QUEENS, N.Y (PRWEB) , ... October 13, 2017 , ... ... recently became a member of ElderCounsel, a national organization of elder law and special ... constantly changing laws and rules. It also provides a forum to network with elder ...
(Date:10/13/2017)... ... October 13, 2017 , ... Many families have long-term ... long-term care insurance companies have a waiver for care if the client has a ... when the family pays for care, is often waived, so the benefits from their ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)...  Caris Life Sciences ® , a leading innovator ... precision medicine, today announced that St. Jude Medical Center,s ... (POA) as its 17 th member. Through participation ... Cancer Institute will help develop standards of care and ... making cancer treatment more precise and effective. ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... 2017  Hill-Rom Holdings, Inc. ("Hill-Rom") (NYSE: HRC), today ... Las Piedras, Puerto Rico , where ... Following a comprehensive ... minor structural damage, temporary loss of power and minimal ... completed, manufacturing operations have resumed, and the company expects ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... EXTON, Pa. , Oct. 10, 2017   ... leader in innovative solutions for injectable drug administration, today ... of West,s ID Adapter for improving the intradermal administration ... the Fourth Skin Vaccination Summit in May 2017 by ... Team Lead, Polio Department, World Health Organization (WHO), and ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: