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Alicia Jiang, Clinton Jordan, James Murphy, Carina Sanvicente, Scott Fudemberg; Cost sharing of glaucoma medications: are patients able to predict the amount of their financial obligation?. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2019;60(9):1979.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
To determine whether patients understand how much their glaucoma medication will cost before a pharmacy visit and how cost sharing of glaucoma medications influences their plan to adhere and persist with the medication.
A survey developed by the Wills Eye Glaucoma Department was administered to patients who were newly diagnosed with or had existing open-angle glaucoma, pigmentary glaucoma, pseudoexfoliation glaucoma, or ocular hypertension and being prescribed a new medication for treatment that day in clinic. The survey asked patients to rate how strongly they agreed or disagreed with statements that dealt with their ability to predict the out-of-pocket costs of their newly prescribed glaucoma medication, and how the cost might affect their adherence. The patient’s pharmacy was then contacted within 2 weeks of survey completion to obtain information about the patient's actual out-of-pocket cost, as well as details as to whether the medication was picked up. Responses were evaluated with descriptive statistics.
Twenty-five patients, average age 69.52 (±16) years, (56% female) were included in the analysis. Of the 25 patients, 23 (92%) filled their prescription at the pharmacy. Eighteen patients (72%) accurately predicted their medication cost within a $10 range. Of the 2 who did not fill their prescription, one predicted his medication cost within $10 and the other predicted his medication cost within $21-$30. A majority (88%) agreed that they would still fill their medication regardless of the co-pay cost, however only 64% agreed that cost would not affect how they would use their medication. Fifty-two percent of the study’s respondents said they were likely to call back to request an alternative medication if the original prescription seemed too expensive and 12% agreed with the statement “my doctor knows my out of pocket cost for my eye drop”.
Most patients were able to accurately predict their out of pocket cost within a $10 range. A majority of patients filled their prescription regardless of the accuracy of their predicted out-of-pocket cost. Despite the high fill rate, only 64% agreed with the statement that cost won’t influence how they use their drop, suggesting that patients may still partake in cost-saving measures. Further research is warranted with larger sample sizes and longer follow-up on prescription filling patterns among participants.
This abstract was presented at the 2019 ARVO Annual Meeting, held in Vancouver, Canada, April 28 - May 2, 2019.
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