Navigation Links
Brand Drug 'Copay Coupons' Undermine Generics, Raise Health Costs by $1 Billion in New Jersey

WASHINGTON, Nov. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The proliferation of brand drug "copay coupon" promotions, which lure insured consumers from generics to more expensive brands, will increase costs by $1 billion in New Jersey over the next decade for employers, unions, and state employee plans, according to new research from Visante and released by the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA).  The use of these promotions by state and local government workers alone will cost New Jersey taxpayers an extra $160 million over ten years.

Click here to read the study

Unlike groceries and other goods that are purchased directly by consumers, 2/3 of prescription drug costs are paid by the employers, unions, and government agencies (i.e., taxpayers) that provide coverage, not consumers themselves.  Though banned as illegal kickbacks in federal health programs, copay coupons are unregulated in the commercial market (except Massachusetts).  

To minimize premiums and reduce costs, those who offer prescription drug coverage assign higher copays to expensive brands and lower copays to more affordable drugs that treat the same condition.  In response, drug companies now offer coupons that cover the higher copays but not the cost of the actual drug.  By covering a $50 copay to sell a $150 brand, drug companies extract an extra $100 from the employer, union, or government agency that offers coverage.  This helps explain why copay coupons target only those with insurance (i.e., those who pay copays), not the poor or uninsured.

"Brand copay coupons lure patients from generics to expensive brands and stick employers, unions, and government employee health programs with the extra costs," said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt.  "In New Jersey, taxpayers will pay an extra $160 million just to cover the use of brand copay coupons by government workers in state and municipal employee health programs."

Drug companies profit from coupon promotions in several ways:

  • Copay coupons induce consumers to choose higher-cost brands (despite higher copays) over lower-cost competitors (despite lower copays).  When consumers redeem copay coupons, the drug companies process them through a "shadow claims system" that prevents employers and other plan sponsors from knowing when enrollees have used them.
  • Drug companies often require consumers to submit confidential, personal information in order to redeem copay coupons.  Manufacturers have long sought (but found difficult to obtain) such sensitive patient data, which enables them to identify and directly target individual patients with "brand loyalty" marketing programs.

Coupons can also increase consumer costs in several ways:

  • To help cover the $4 billion spent annually on copay coupons nationally, manufacturers can simply raise prices.  Manufacturers reportedly earn a 4:1 to 6:1 return on investment (ROI) on copay coupon programs.
  • Copay coupons create "brand loyalty" to the most expensive products in each therapeutic class of drugs, even among newly diagnosed patients.

PCMA represents the nation's pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which improve affordability and

quality of care through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), generic alternatives, mail-service pharmacies, and other innovative tools for 210-plus million Americans.

Follow PCMA on Twitter

SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association
Copyright©2010 PR Newswire.
All rights reserved

Related medicine technology :

1. WaveSense Blood Glucose Meter One of Few Brands to Pass Rigorous TNO Tests
2. Cantel Medical Corp.s Crosstex Subsidiary Addresses School MRSA Concerns With SaniTyze(TM) Brand Hand Sanitizer and Sanitex(R) Surface Disinfecting Line of Products
3. Generic Substitutes Less Effective/Safe Than Branded Medications in Treating Lower Urinary Tract Symptoms
4. Octapharma USA Announces FDA Approval of wilate(R) - the First Replacement Therapy Developed Specifically for von Willebrand Disease
5. Lupin Expands Branded Play
6. Verathon(R) Helps Physicians Identify the Presence of Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms with New AortaScan(TM) Brand of Portable Ultrasound Aortic Measurement Instruments
7. Frutarom Launches New Global Branding
8. Biosimilar Insulins and Insulin Analogues Stand to Erode $6.1 Billion in Brand Sales in the U.S. and Europe by 2018
9. Reportlinker Adds Driving Successful Pharma Brands: Case Studies of Real Product Launches
10. Warner Chilcott Completes Acquisition of P&Gs Global Branded Prescription Pharmaceuticals Business
11. Octapharma Receives Orphan Drug Exclusivity Approval for wilate(R) - A Replacement Therapy Developed Specifically for von Willebrand Disease
Post Your Comments:
(Date:6/23/2016)... -- Any dentist who has made an implant supported denture ... of them do not even offer this as a viable ... costs involved. And those who ARE able to offer that ... cost that the majority of today,s patients would not be ... , founder of Dental Evolutions Inc. and inventor of Implanova ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... LOS ANGELES , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... (NASDAQ: CAPR ), a biotechnology company ... first-in-class therapeutics, today announced that patient enrollment in ... progrEssion in Duchenne) has exceeded 50% of its ... its enrollment in the third quarter of 2016, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... BOGOTA, Colombia , June 23, 2016  Astellas today announced the establishment of Astellas Farma Colombia ... the company,s second affiliate in Latin America . ... ... Farma Colombia ... ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/27/2016)... ... June 27, 2016 , ... ... strategic partnership with Connance, a healthcare industry leader providing predictive analytics to ... technology combine to provide health systems, hospitals and ambulatory surgical centers with ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... Michigan (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... On ... as sponsor of the 2016 Cereal Festival and World’s Longest Breakfast Table in Battle ... honor of the city’s history as home to some of the world’s leading providers ...
(Date:6/26/2016)... , ... June 26, 2016 , ... ... once they have been diagnosed with endometriosis. These women need a treatment plan ... require a comprehensive approach that can help for preservation of fertility and ultimately ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... June 25, 2016 , ... "With 30 hand-drawn hand gesture animations, ... Christina Austin - CEO of Pixel Film Studios. , ProHand Cartoon’s package transforms ... Final Cut Pro X . Simply select a ProHand generator and drag it above ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... 25, 2016 , ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the ... to iHire in recognition of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The ... Health & Wellness Symposium at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):