Health and Wellness

Getting Better Health Care

Dr. Steve Feldman MD

Getting Better Health Care – Are drug coupon cards a good thing?

The prices of some drugs are extraordinarily high. Patients may need those drugs but may find the high price, even just the copayment after insurance, to be unaffordable. What to do!? Drug company sponsored coupons that help cover the copayment can help rescue the situation.

But are those coupons a good thing? The may increase the use of expensive drugs and cause drug prices to be higher than they would be if patients had more responsibility for paying the cost of care.

We explore this issue with Wells Wilkinson, Director of Prescription Access Litigation Project and staff attorney at Community Catalyst, a national consumer organization that works for access to quality, affordable care. Wilkinson explains that drug coupons may encourage overuse of costly medications when lower priced generic medications could work equally well. He also expresses concerns about the privacy implications of using these coupons.