Researchers propose that consumers pay an annual "license" fee that would entitle them to a year's worth of medicine for each prescription they take on an ongoing basis, with a very small or no co-payment for each monthly supply.In the long-run, this could significantly help the health care system by making drug regime compliance easier. It could reduce the emergency and urgent care necessary for people who go off life saving drugs because of costs, then wind up in need of acute medical care, the costs of which are often shifted to hospitals and taxpayers.
Such a system could be used to pay for medicines that treat chronic conditions such as high cholesterol, diabetes or asthma without increasing the cost to consumers and may reduce the periods when patients go without such medicines because of the cost, according to a study published in the journal Health Affairs. - Science Daily
Researchers propose that consumers pay a $195 fee for an annual license for the statin drugs -- equal to what most consumers now pay out of their own pockets each year if they have insurance plans that require $25 per-prescription co-payments. Insurance companies would pay an additional $374 to drug companies for each statin license.An interesting idea, in any case.
Because there would be no monthly out-of-pocket payments for consumers, researchers suggest that patients would be more likely to take their prescriptions. Analyzing past research about the impact of rising co-payments on patient compliance, researchers suggest the average annual use among patients taking statins would climb from 7.8 months to 9.8 months under the new pricing plan.
The increased use of the medication among patients may result in fewer long-term health problems and lower overall costs to insurance providers, according to the study. - ScienceDaily