Incentives Matter: Drugs

A Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina project eliminates copayments for generic drugs and reduces them for brand-name drugs prescribed for diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol and congestive heart failure. Adherence to drug therapies improved, ranging from 3.8% for patients with diabetes to 1.5% for calcium-channel blockers for hypertension.



Comments (4)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ken says:

    Is this what is meant by nudging?

  2. Devon Herrick says:

    This experiment is another reason why we don’t need a one-size-fits-all health insurance plan design mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Insurers need the freedom to innovate and experiment and find out what works and what doesn’t.

  3. Erik says:

    Does this blows a hole in the CDHP option? Does a higher deductible cost the insurance companies more in the end due to underutilization based on the costs passed on to the consumer?

  4. Linda Gorman says:

    What this shows is that contrary to US government policy, attempts to strictly control behavior can increase costs while increasing consumer choice can reduce them.

    It does not blow holes in anything as it reduced branded copayments as well. Some people do better on branded drugs than generics because, contrary to FDA propaganda, fairly wide variations are allowed in “generic” drug approval trials and some people are sensitive to the differences.