RazorMetrics’ recent survey of consumers about drug costs revealed some unexpected results. Healthcare consumers still want their doctor to lead, despite the rise in savings apps driven by consumers. According to the survey, 80% of respondents said they would prefer that their doctor choose a lower-cost drug for them and make it happen automatically.
Sticker shock at the pharmacist is a losing situation for everyone. Patients are being forced to cut back on dosages, split pills or discontinue treatment due to high prescription costs. RazorMetrics asked its drug cost survey, “If a prescription costs too much what should you do?” 9.3% of respondents to the survey said that they would “Forget about it” and “Go home”. Other responses were “Pay for it anyway”, (22.3%), Ask the pharmacist about a discounted rate (35.3%), and “Call your doctor” (21.7%). None of these options are good for patients, pharmacists, or physicians.
Physicians try to reduce costs. 72% of respondents to a survey said that their doctor talks to them about drug pricing. However, doctors cannot prescribe the most affordable medication without assistance. A study published in Jama Network, ” Accuracy Of Physician Estimates on Out-of Pocket Costs for Medication Filling”, found that only 21% of physicians could accurately estimate the out-of pocket costs for their patients when they were provided with drug prices and patient insurance information. According to the study authors, one-third of Americans have difficulty paying their medical bills. Many people turn to their doctors for assistance in navigating insurance and health costs. This puts the doctor at risk of failure.
“As a cardiologist in an active practice, I know the frustration that doctors feel when a patient calls the pharmacy. We attempt to find a different medication in the hope that the patient’s insurance will cover it. RazorMetrics co-founder Dr. Siva Mohan, MD, said that the system was built using a trial and error approach. It’s inefficient, and it’s deeply frustrating for all involved.”
Consumers want to save money on prescriptions. However, rather than chasing down cheaper options, they prefer their doctor to help them navigate this process. Eighty-eight% of respondents to the RazorMetrics survey said that they would be happier with their provider if they discussed drug prices. A majority of respondents said they would be more satisfied if their provider changed their prescription to a cheaper option. Patients want affordable prescriptions from their doctor.