Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Low Co-Pays vs. No Co-Pays

A recently published study on the effects of co-pay levels shows that the only way to guarantee an increase in adherence through financial discounts is to reduce co-payments to $0. Researchers assessed MPR using claims data for 327, 629 patients (for hypercholesterolemia, hypertension, hypothyroidism, seizure disorders, or type 2 diabetes) with a new generic-only or brand-only drug therapy prescription. An MPR of ≥ 80% in the above conditions was found for 53.2%, 53.4%, 66.2%, 42.2% and 52.0% of patients respectively. Generics (lower co-pays) increased adherence in patients with hypercholesterolemia or diabetes (P < .05), but decreased adherence for hypertension and hypothyroidism (P <.05). The rate of adherence (MPR = 80%) increased for all conditions with copayments of $0 (AOR of 1.32 – 1.45 according to condition; 95% CI)