Does a One-Size-Fits-All Cost-Sharing Approach Incentivize Appropriate Medication Use? A Roundtable on the Fairness and Ethics Associated with Variable Cost Sharing
OPEN Journal of managed care & specialty pharmacy | 23 May 2017
JS Graff, C Shih, T Barker, G Dieguez, C Larson, H Sherman and RW Dubois
Tiered formularies, in which patients pay copays or coinsurance out-of-pocket (OOP), are used to manage costs and encourage more efficient health care resource use. Formulary tiers are typically based on the cost of treatment rather than the medical appropriateness for the patient. Cost sharing may have unintended consequences on treatment adherence and health outcomes. Use of higher-cost, higher-tier medications can be due to a variety of factors, including unsuccessful treatment because of lack of efficacy or side effects, patient clinical or genetic characteristics, patient preferences to avoid potential side effects, or patient preferences based on the route of administration. For example, patients with rheumatoid arthritis may be required to fail low-cost generic treatments before obtaining coverage for a higher-tier tumor necrosis factor alpha inhibitor for which they would have a larger financial burden. Little is known about stakeholders' views on the acceptability of greater patient cost sharing if the individual patient characteristics lead to the higher-cost treatments.
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