Drug prices are insane. Drug Copays are going up fast.
Increasingly, drug coverage insurance is pushing more drug costs onto the patients. This quickly becomes a problem.
The result: Even when patients have health insurance, huge copays may place necessary drugs out of reach.
Pharmaceutical companies will respond in several ways to this criticism:
Copay coupons can turn a $400 copay into $10 for six to twelve months. But, this is temporary and the need for the medicine is usually life-long. When the coupon expires, you and your patient have a big problem.
Patient Assistance programs can be helpful. Unfortunately, they work only when there is no insurance and the patient is very poor. Such programs also require a huge amount of paperwork which baffles those in need.
These programs allow companies to keep prices high, while pretending to show compassion to those in need.
The result is serious: Several times, in just the past month, our patients have walked away from their pharmacies without filling their prescriptions, simply due to cost. Diabetes medications are currently among the worst offenders. Anticoagulants, such as Eliquis, are also becoming a huge problem, particularly as the discount coupons expire.