Our latest Sermo Says poll of the week looks at why physicians prescribe less expensive drugs for patients.
Forty-eight percent of physicians say they prescribe alternative prescriptions at patient request and 41 percent use generics because they have a proven track record. Thirty-eight percent of doctors also noted they are limited to insurance formularies that require them to use less expensive drug for treatments.
One doctor inside Sermo wrote, “I get a lot of pharmacy call backs because a med is not covered and the patients needs something less expensive.”
A pediatrician commented, “There has been a horrendous increase in the cost of some generics…possibly because some generic companies are now owned by the major manufacturers and the newer practice of a brand name paying a generic its’ profit margin to keep the drug off the market or limit its’ distribution.”
Thirteen percent of physicians say they prescribe the best drug for the situation and a pain doctor wrote, “90 percent of my prescriptions are for generic drugs. Most patients only pay a small co-pay for generics, so I haven’t seen any big increase in concern.”
Should Physicians Sell Wholesale?
Given board specialties, a lot of physicians write prescriptions for a fairly narrow spectrum of medication. Does it make sense to allow wholesale sale of drugs via a physician’s office? It is “allowed in 44 states and whole price savings are worth it for patients,” wrote one doctor.
The wholesale pharmaceutical distribution market is approaching $300 billion and the biggest growth is expected in generics as a number of brand-name drugs come off exclusivity and are eligible to become generic.
As a physician have you seen a rise in generic prescriptions recently? Have you noticed more requests from patients or call backs from pharmacies asking for a cheaper alternative? Would you consider supplying wholesale drugs to your patients to save them time and money?
We’ll be discussing this and more inside Sermo. If you’re an M.D. or D.O. please join us in our physician community.
Physicians have been criticized in the past for pharma’s influence. We asked them recently what they thought the most significant conflicts of interest where for physicians who accept gifts and/or money from the medical industry.