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Pharma coupons – How do they work and what are their benefits?

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We all know that nothing is free in this world and this fact is applicable appropriately to the drug coupons of the manufacturers which could charm the consumers into utilizing high-cost medicines over effective generic medicines and low-cost brands. Whenever customers think of coupons, they conjure up images of saving enough money. Coupons usually sound good on paper for both the patients who are able to pay less for a product that is highly priced and for the manufacturers who sell them. If you wish to know more on how pharma coupons work and how they benefit people, read on the remaining concerns of this article.

Coupons – How do they work?

The manufacturers usually utilize drug coupons which are called copay coupons in order to reimburse the insured patients for the copayment costs which are directly related to costly and new medicines. With the help of coupons, the manufacturers are able to get additional customers, promote products and create a brand image in order to develop a competitive edge. Simultaneously, the manufacturers can also assert that the consumers are able to save money, get access to a new and useful drug and enhance adherence.
Such pharma coupons are distributed to the offices of the physicians and they’re also available online, print ads, TV and pharmacies and also through direct email campaigns. As per what IMS Health has to say, coupons were available for 395 indications in 2014 which has increased from 80 in 2010. Medicaid and Medicare beneficiaries can’t use such medicine coupons since they are deemed to be remuneration for the consumers to increase purchases.

Pharma coupons – Their pros and cons

The costly impact

Patients use coupons as they cover the copayments for medicines which have been placed at the high cost tiers to solve this issue. Consumers are not pretty aware of the fact that the insurers are increasing the tab beyond copayment.

Once the pharma coupons expire, which they do within 2-3 years, patients start struggling with making increased out-of-pocket payments for the same medicine. The payers get pressed to rein in patients and persuade them about beginning a regimen on low cost medication. The consequence is higher copayments or premiums in order to compensate for increased costs allotted by payers for specific drugs which offer a coupon.

Influence of providers

The providers of medicines consider drug coupon as an opportunity to prescribe potentially effective products without their patients having to incur any kind of financial obstacles. They have quoted that they wanted their members to get the drugs that they need and hence when the physicians appeal the denial of the costly drugs, the providers approve such appeals.



Payer consequences

The payers have devised different strategies and techniques to steer clear from increased costs of medicines, they have prior authorization, tiered formularies, management of medication therapy and step therapy which are mostly being undermined by the coupon programs. The patients feel that coupons are a good way of saving money but they fail to see the upshots for total costs like the premiums which get costlier to offset the high costs of drugs.

Therefore, now that you know how medicine coupons work and how you should use them, don’t take any wrong step which can boomerang you later on.

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