The Struggle is Real: Growing Medication Insecurities Require New Rx Strategies

Top 3 Things You’ll Learn

  1. Stats about affordability of prescription drugs in the U.S.
  2. What medication insecurity is and how it’s impacting pharmacy benefits plans
  3. Strategies to help employee benefit plan sponsors manage Rx costs
     

“Medication insecurity” is a relatively new term used to describe one’s inability to pay for prescribed medications at least one time in the past 12 months. A Gallup poll report sheds light on how widespread “medication insecurity” is becoming among U.S. adults. The results are staggering, yet not surprising, and point to the ongoing struggles facing health care consumers.

The struggle is real: Approx. 1 in 5 U.S. adults can’t afford Rx drugs prescribed to them. #drugcosts

Key Findings

  • Close to 9 out of 10 U.S. adults say that the costs of prescription drugs are much or somewhat much higher (89%) than what consumers should be paying for them.
  • 1 in 5 U.S. adults (22.9%) say that they or someone in their household has been unable to afford drugs prescribed to them in the past 12 months, up from 18.9% in January 2019.
  • More than 13% of U.S. adults know at least one friend or family member in the past five years who died after not receiving needed medical treatment because they were unable to pay for it.

What This Means for You

With efforts at implementing federal-level changes appear to be at a standstill while prescription drug prices continue to climb at record rates, it’s up to you to help maintain affordability for your clients and their members. You must continue to evaluate plans for opportunities to lower your spending and help reduce members’ out-of-pocket costs. Often times high-cost drugs with low clinical value can be removed from the formulary with little-to-no member impact, or lower-cost, clinically equivalent medications can be prescribed instead of the higher-cost option. Simply being able to put plan protections in place to review prescription claims before they’re paid can prove to be a significant budget-saving method, while helping direct members to more affordable prescription drugs.

Sources:

Gallup, Inc.

The New York Times

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