Prescribers to patients: “Let’s talk about drug costs”


Once upon a time, prescribers would choose the medication for the patients, and the patient would simply accept the decision and proceed forward. High healthcare costs, however, have contributed to lower medication adherence. As a result, prescribers are increasingly partnering with their patients to choose a medication that is affordable and accessible. Brands can help facilitate that conversation if they know how and where to do it.

Control the story…

What many brands may not realize is that simply making savings programs available is not enough, since only 16% of surveyed patients are even aware that services are available to them. Effective messaging services that clearly lay out savings information helps patients and prescribers understand the financial burden of the medication, which facilitates the conversation around drug choice.

But do these conversations translate to higher revenue for drug brands? A ConnectiveRx analysis of 27 programs that informed prescribers of available patient savings in their EHR from January 1, 2016, to December 31, 2018, demonstrated an average 11.5% script lift. In other words, prescribers are more likely to recommend a medication that is clearly presenting savings program information because the patient is more likely to be able to afford the drug long-term.

…don’t let the story control you

Real Time Benefit Check (RTBC), the system that ensures patients and their prescribers see the cost of medication in the EHR, does not automatically include patient savings information. This means that brands cannot assume prescribers and patients are seeing program offerings simply because they exist. Instead, brands should work with their patient savings partners to ensure their message is prominently displayed in the EHR. After all, 75% of prescribers specifically noted wanting to easily see cost saving opportunities in their EHR. Creating a system in which the patient savings program is clearly visible and available is the best way to increase awareness of and adherence to the offer.