McKesson detailed the occurrences of prescription abandonment tied to financial motivations in a recent article on the company's website.
VP of Strategy and Marketing for McKesson’s Patient Relationship Solutions Reagan Tully indicated that primary fill abandonment occurs in approximately 32 percent of patient cases. She also noted that the primary cause of this is the costs associated with new medications. Oftentimes patients cannot afford medication or the out-of-pocket costs are too high for patients to be willing to pay.
Tully stated that drug manufacturers and pharmacies can implement patient savings programs in order to address this issue. This can consist of discounted co-pay cards, coupons for certain drugs and free trial vouchers.
In addition to the risks patients face by forgoing new prescriptions, the health care system loses approximately $300 billion annually. This is due to unnecessary doctor visits or hospitalizations as a result of medication abandonment.
“Patient savings programs are one tool to help alleviate the growing problem of financially motivated primary fill abandonment and an important first step in the journey to improved adherence and overall better health for patients,” Tully said.
She also noted that patient savings programs allow the facilitation of improved relationships between patients and pharmacists and other health professionals that can improve care over time.