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Research Studies is a monthly compilation of research articles funded by AHRQ or authored by AHRQ researchers and recently published in journals or newsletters.
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Starner CI, Alexander GC, Bowen K
Specialty drug coupons lower out-of-pocket costs and may improve adherence at the risk of increasing premiums.
The investigators examined insurers' role in maintaining the affordability and accessibility of specialty drugs while maximizing their value. They found that drug coupons accounted for $21.2 million of patients' $35.3 million annual out-of-pocket costs. In the vast majority of cases, coupons reduced monthly cost sharing to less than $250, a point at which patients were far less likely to abandon therapy with biologic anti-inflammatory drugs or with drugs for multiple sclerosis. They highlighted that, by reducing cost sharing, coupons may also circumvent efforts to encourage patients to use the most cost-effective drugs.
Citation: Starner CI, Alexander GC, Bowen K . Specialty drug coupons lower out-of-pocket costs and may improve adherence at the risk of increasing premiums. Health Aff 2014 Oct;33(10):1761-9. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2014.0497.
Keywords: Healthcare Costs, Health Insurance, Medication, Patient Adherence/Compliance, Value