Consumers abandon prescriptions, analysis reveals
BRIDGEWATER, N.J. The rate at which consumers drop off prescriptions, but never pick them up, has increased by 34% since 2006, according to a new report by Wolters Kluwer Health.
According to the market research firm’s annual analysis of the U.S. pharmaceutical market, the rate of prescription abandonment increased from an average of 5.15% in 2006 to 6.8% last year. The analysis found that the abandonment increased alongside the amount of the co-pay, especially for new prescriptions. Among prescriptions with co-pays of $100 or more, the abandonment rate is just over 20%, compared with 4% for prescriptions with $10 co-pays.
“Price sensitivity is clearly a factor as consumers decide to forego certain prescriptions altogether, including some for chronic conditions,” Wolters Kluwer Health president and CEO pharma solutions Mark Spiers said. “This disturbing trend may have serious health implications and seems poised to continue especially if the economy deteriorates further.”
The analysis, titled “Pharma Insight,” also found that two-thirds of prescriptions filled will be generic by the end of this year. U.S. prescriptions for generics and branded drugs reached equilibrium in 2005, and then generics continued to build momentum each year thereafter, the data show. Generics constituted more than 60% of all U.S. prescriptions filled last year, with 2.4 billion out of 3.8 billion prescriptions filled with generic drugs.
“We’re close to the point, certainly by the end of 2009, where two-out-of-every-three prescriptions filled will be generic,” Spiers said. “These trends are going to become even more pronounced moving forward as there are many blockbusters in major therapeutic areas like cholesterol reducers due to come off patent in the coming years.”
CVS Caremark expands partnership with Google Health
WOONSOCKET, R.I. CVS Caremark has expanded its partnership with Google Health so patients can now securely download their prescription and medication histories to their Google Health Account from CVS.com.
CVS Caremark has been a Google Health partner since it was launched in May 2008. Consumers using CVS Caremark for pharmacy benefit management services can already store, organize and manage their prescription history information online using Google Health. In addition, patients who receive treatment at MinuteClinic can also securely import their visit summaries to their Google Health Accounts.
“By enabling patients to download their prescription information directly into their personal health record, we are helping to close the gap in today’s fragmented health care system and provide a full view of a patient?s health,” stated Helena Foulkes, EVP at CVS Caremark.
To use the tool, customers of CVS/pharmacy must first be signed up for the Prescription Management feature on CVS.com. This feature also allows registered customers to manage their prescriptions online including ordering refills, choosing pickup locations, requesting prescription renewals and receiving alerts on generic alternatives. In order to maintain patient privacy, the consumer making the request for information will need to be authenticated on the CVS.com Web site before any data is shared with Google Health.
“With CVS/pharmacy now integrated on Google Health in addition to our other pharmacy and PBM partners, we estimate there are more than 100 million Americans who can get access to their prescription history online and securely download it to Google Health,” stated Sameer Samat, director of product management, Google Health. “This is good news, because having a current list of all your medications in one place helps you doctor, pharmacist, hospital and other care providers do a better job of taking care of you.”
FDA posts, removes briefing documents regarding Seroquel XR
WILMINGTON, Del. The Food and Drug Administration posted and then removed briefing documents on its Web site for the Psychopharmacologic Drugs Advisory Committee meeting Wednesday.
The meeting concerns an application that drug maker AstraZeneca submitted for an additional use of the drug Seroquel XR (quetiapine fumarate) as a treatment for major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder.
The company said it understands that some people accessed the documents before their removal, and that it wishes to ensure all investors have access to the information contained in the previously released FDA briefing materials. For that reason, it has posted the documents, as well as AstraZeneca briefing documents, on its own Web site.