The New Year is almost here, and for many patients it marks the start of a new pharmacy benefit plan year – including new out of pocket deductibles. Prescribers are in a unique position to help patients maximize their prescription benefits. By simply writing prescriptions for a 90-day supply, particularly for chronic maintenance medications, you can help reduce co-pay costs for your patients. Most prescription benefits now offer reduced co-pays for a 90-day supplies which can add up to significant cost savings over the year.
Switching to a 90-day supply has also shown to increase medication adherence, correlating to reduced medical spend and better health outcomes for our patients1. It’s estimated that 1 out of every 10 instances of medication non-adherence is due to patients being late to pick up their monthly refill – due to procrastination, lack of transportation, or just forgetfulness. Utilizing 90-day supplies is an easy way to reduce the risk of patients forgetting a refill and the associated medical costs of adverse events due to a missed dose.
Mail-order remains a convenient option since it delivers medications directly to a patient’s door. However, for patients who can’t wait for mail delivery, a majority of payers now have enhanced networks that extend 90-day supply services to local retail pharmacies as well. This provides the convenience of same-day pick up of medications and increases patient satisfaction by reducing trips to the pharmacy from 12 times a year to only 4.
The next time you prescribe a chronic maintenance medication, keep in mind the benefits of a 90-day prescription. One small quantity change on your prescription can translate to significant cost savings this upcoming year.
1. National Institutes of Health. Recent Trends in the Dispensing of 90-Day-Supply Prescriptions at Retail Pharmacies: Implications for Improved Convenience and Access. Published April 2011. Accessed December 7, 2016.