Drug prices have been on a rise consistently, hurting the budgets of hard-working families. Prescription drugs have increased medical costs and driven up premiums and other associated healthcare costs. According to AHIP, 95 percent of specialty drugs and 85 percent of orphan drugs cost more than $10,000 per patient/year. The primary aim of prescription price transparency is to educate patients, physicians and health insurance providers on drug prices. Helping to identify lower-cost options and leading to informed financial and healthcare decision making. Ultimately achieving positive healthcare outcomes while simultaneously putting a curb on the drug price escalation.
Medical Adherence and Prescription Price Transparency
The high cost of prescription drugs has certainly been outlined as the main reason for lack of medication adherence. When patients are provided with information about the cost of the prescription drug, they make informed decisions. It also gives patient and physicians a chance to talk about other available options, including financial aid. A review by Annals of Internal Medicine states that twenty to thirty percent of medicated prescriptions are never filled and half of the medicine for chronic illnesses are not taken correctly. This is causing thousands of deaths and many unnecessary hospital admission. Costing the healthcare industry billions of dollars each year. Patients, physicians, and the healthcare industry, in general, are heavily affected by medication non-adherence. Prescription price transparency rule is, therefore, an effective solution to create an overall positive impact on medication adherence and patient health outcomes.
Analysis from the CMS, Office of Actuary shows that over $300 billion was spent on retail prescription drugs. This figure accounts for ten percent of the entire healthcare spend in the year 2017. These sky-high prescription drug prices are the contributing factor to medication non-adherence. Patients are not picking their prescriptions because they cannot afford the cost. Luckily, new real-time prescription transparency tools will provide patients with greater visibility to the cost of prescription medicine. Patients and clinicians will have the opportunity to have an open discussion about the best course of treatment for them.
According to a report from Surescripts, 78 percent of healthcare professionals think that it’s very important to have access to information on patients’ out-of-pocket expenses. 69 percent of healthcare professionals think it’s important to have access to information on lower-cost prescription medicines and their alternatives. Prescription drug price transparency takes a consumer-centered approach. “With prescription price transparency tools at their fingertips, prescribers are eliminating pharmacy callbacks, improving medication adherence, and reducing costs,” said Surescripts CEO Tom Skelton in a statement. “And their patients are getting the medications they need, at an affordable price, faster and with less hassle”.
Tools like Patient Portal, create patient-engagement platform, making patients more engaged and involved in important healthcare decision making.
Ultimately prescription price transparency takes the pressure out of the healthcare system, reduces costs in the long term and improves clinical outcomes altogether. This tool also assists to alleviate frustrating situations between patients and pharmacists at the point-of-care. When patients are given options and clear cut information about the cost of their medication, they are much more likely to adhere and continue with their recommended treatment. This will save the healthcare industry billions of dollars and enhance patient financial experience.