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Study proves the co-pay connection in chronic disease
Date:1/7/2008

es medicines including blood sugar-reducing drugs and insulin; cholesterol-reducing statins; and asthma-calming inhaled steroids.

In the study period, co-pays at Company A went from $5 to $0 for generic drugs, from $25 to $12.50 for name-brand drugs on the companys preferred drug list, and from $45 to $22.50 for non-preferred name-brand drugs. Co-pays at Company B stayed around $29 for brand-name drugs and $16 for generics.

As part of the disease management program at both companies, people who werent already taking preventive medications related to their conditions were contacted automatically to let them know about the importance of those specific medications. At Company A, they were also informed of the reduced co-pays. For all Company A employees, the co-pay reductions were made automatically at the pharmacy.

In just one year, the appropriate use of the preventive medicines at Company A increased significantly in four of the five drug classes, with inhaled steroids for asthma being the exception. The increase in use of statins was more modest than the increases in use of ACEs/ARBs, beta blockers and diabetes drugs.

And, the results show that nonadherence a term used to describe a situation when someone should be taking a medicine but isnt decreased between 7 percent and 14 percent, depending on drug class.

Chernew notes that the study was not designed to assess whether increased adherence to preventive drugs had a measurable impact on employees and dependents health, or their use of costly services such as hospitalization and emergency care.

While future studies need to be done to actually quantify this specifically, there is considerable evidence that use of the classes of medication in this study will reduce the frequency of adverse clinical events and associated hospitalizations and ER visits, he says. We believe that tailoring co-pays to the individual patient can improve the efficiency of health ca
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Contact: Kara Gavin
kegavin@umich.edu
734-764-2220
University of Michigan Health System
Source:Eurekalert

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