To save money, many people feel that they can take a smaller part of their prescribed medication. Lots of people feel they simply do not need the medication their Dr has recommended. Studies have shown that if you do not take medication as prescribed, the medication will reduce in effectiveness and you will need to move to a stronger, more expensive medication. This costs everyone more money. The following is taken from a Telus Health study on the benefit of simply taking medication as prescribed:
As part of its annual conference on May 17, TELUS Health crunched the numbers and showed that it’s better (for both patients and payers) to take initial medications as prescribed in order to prevent or delay the use of higher-cost therapies.
TELUS Health captured data on whether or not claimants refill their prescriptions on time. The analysis assessed the claims history for more than 3,000 claimants taking a biologic to treat rheumatoid arthritis, at an average annual cost of $15,800. All had started treatment with first-line therapy that costs about $200 a year. Claimants with higher rates of taking first-line therapy as prescribed did not start on the biologic until four to six years had passed. Those who had lower rates of adherence began taking biologics within one or two years of starting the first-line therapy.
Simply taking medication as prescribed can save tens of thousands of dollars. Since health insurance premiums are based on the total cost of claims + plan administration fees, both the employee and employer benefit.
In short, multiple studies prove, you can save money for a little while.
- Employee cost over 10 years for taking the original prescription, $400.
- Employee cost of not taking the prescription as intended, over 10 years, $31,600.
- Employer cost over 10 years for taking the original prescription, $1,600.
- Employer cost of not taking the prescription as intended, over 10 years, $100,000.
Jay Nadler, Employee Benefit Specialist.
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