Navigation Links
Brand Drug 'Copay Coupons' Undermine Generics, Raise Health Costs by $681 Million in Missouri
Date:11/16/2011

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 $681 million in Missouri 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 Missouri taxpayers an extra $103 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 Missouri, taxpayers will pay an extra $103 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. Brand Drug Copay Coupons Undermine Generics, Raise Health Costs by $1.4 Billion in Illinois
2. Brand Drug Copay Coupons Undermine Generics, Raise Health Costs by $1 Billion in New Jersey
3. Brand Drug Copay Coupons Undermine Generics, Raise Health Costs by $1.1 Billion in Michigan
4. Brand Drug Copay Coupons Undermine Generics, Raise Health Costs by $308 Million in Arkansas
5. Brand Drug Copay Coupons Undermine Generics, Raise Health Costs by $447 Million in Connecticut
6. Brand Drug Copay Coupons Undermine Generics, Raise Health Costs by $2.1 Billion in Florida
7. Report: Brand Drug Copay Coupons Raise Health Costs for Employers, Unions, and State Governments by $32 Billion
8. UBM Live to Roll Out Pharma Contract Services & Outsourcing Brand in the US in 2012
9. Popular Sleep Supplement Brand Settles Patent Infringement Suit Against Store Brand Manufacturer
10. Prasco Named Exclusive U.S. Distributor for Selected Aspen Branded Products
11. A New Constant Companion: BodyMedia® Enlists Americas Toughest Trainer, Jillian Michaels, as a Brand Partner
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016  Consumers have taken a more ... placed more emphasis on patient outcomes. ... in the pharmaceutical industry have evolved beyond just ... companies are focusing on becoming more patient-oriented across ... and services that improve health. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... 24, 2016   Bay Area Lyme Foundation ... Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness , Harvard ... MIT Hacking Medicine, University of California, Berkeley, and ... the five finalists of Lyme Innovation , ... than 100 scientists, clinicians, researchers, entrepreneurs, and investors ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) ... would allow biopharmaceutical companies to more easily share health ... and coverage decisions, a move that addresses the growing ... The recommendations address restrictions in the sharing of ... label, a prohibition that hinders decision makers from accessing ...
Breaking Medicine Technology:
(Date:6/26/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... June 26, 2016 , ... PawPaws ... a new product that was developed to enhance the health of felines. The formula ... , The two main herbs in the PawPaws Cat Kidney Support Supplement ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... , ... The temporary closing of Bruton Memorial Library on June 21 due to a possible ... often overlooked aspect of head lice: the parasite’s ability to live away from a human ... but a necessary one in the event that lice have simply gotten out of control. ...
(Date:6/25/2016)... ... ... On Friday, June 10, Van Mitchell, Secretary of the Maryland Department of Health ... of their exemplary accomplishments in worksite health promotion. , The Wellness at Work Awards ... at the BWI Marriott in Linthicum Heights. iHire was one of 42 businesses to ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... Marcy was in a crisis. Her son James, eight, was out ... family verbally and physically. , “When something upset him, he couldn’t control his emotions,” remembers ... would throw rocks at my other children and say he was going to kill them. ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... , ... Topical BioMedics, Inc, makers of Topricin and MyPainAway Pain Relief Products, join The ‘Business ... to $12 an hour by 2020 and then adjusting it yearly to increase at the ... minimum wage, assure the wage floor does not erode again, and make future increases more ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):