Use these simple strategies to start saving more on medications.
One out of every four adults taking a prescription says it’s difficult to afford their medications.1 Over the last year, the economic fallout of the pandemic forced many people to sacrifice essential needs to afford medications or perhaps forego treatment altogether to pay bills. In fact, more than one-third of patients said they went without treatment or medications to pay for bills and basic needs, and 43% sacrificed basic needs and bills to afford their medications.2
Medication affordability is a key factor to improving medication adherence and overall member health. Even members who aren’t pinching pennies to pay for medications likely wouldn’t mind having a little extra money in their pocket.
For plan sponsors, helping your members start saving on their prescriptions is simple. Here are four strategies to start:
1. PROMOTE LOWER-COST GENERIC MEDICATIONS
Generic medications are just as effective as brand-name drugs, have the same active ingredients and go through the same rigorous U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) testing, yet often are at a fraction of the cost for both the plan and the member.
Partner with a PBM that uses a lowest-net-cost strategy to formulary management. This approach focuses on providing clinically sound, cost-effective generics or less expensive brands to keep costs low for the plan and members.
2. SHARE THE ADDED CONVENIENCE OF 90-DAY REFILLS
Maintenance medications typically treat chronic, long-term conditions that require consistent, daily use, such as diabetes, high blood pressure or asthma. In many cases, maintenance medications can be filled every 90 days instead of every 30 days, which may save members money at their retail and/or mail order pharmacy. Plus, with 90-day medication refills, members will benefit from:
- Greater convenience with fewer trips to the pharmacy
- Timely, accurate delivery to their doorstep, for those with a mail order benefit
- Peace of mind knowing they are less likely to run out of their medication
- Easy access to a convenient network of pharmacies
3. IMPLEMENT A TABLET SPLITTING PROGRAM TO STRETCH DOLLARS FURTHER
Members can save up to 50% on out-of-pocket costs for select medications by simply splitting them in half. Tablet splitting breaks a higher-strength tablet in half to deliver the same prescribed dose. For medications that are eligible to split, members can get the exact same drug and dosage, but save money by paying for fewer tablets.
Navitus’ Tablet Splitting Program makes it simple. Members can get an easy-to-use tablet splitter and step-by-step instructions to get started.
4. PROVIDE DIGITAL SELF-HELP TOOLS
Members may not know not all pharmacies charge the same price for prescriptions. Having access to digital resources can help them shop for the best price and better manage their pharmacy benefits. Convenient online tools, like Cost Compare on Navitus’ secure member portal and mobile app, can help members look up prescription prices before they go to the pharmacy, saving time and money.
Cost Compare allows members to:
- Check medication prices at local pharmacies to find the lowest cost option
- Estimate prescription cost in real-time
- Perform a search based on prescription history
- Kirzinger A, Lopes L, Wu B, Brodie M. KFF Health Tracking Poll – February 2019: Prescription Drugs. Kaiser Family Foundation. https://www.kff.org/health-costs/poll-finding/kff-health-tracking-poll-february-2019-prescription-drugs/. Published March 1, 2019. Accessed May 5, 2021.
- 2021 Medication Access Report. CoverMyMeds. https://insights.covermymeds.com/medication-access-report?utm_medium=external&utm_source=guest-post&utm_campaign=mar-21&utm_term=drugchannels&utm_content=sponsored-link. Published January 29, 2021. Accessed May 18, 2021.