Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Intervention Helped Educate Doctors about Drug Costs. (Prescribing Decisions)

Magazine article Clinical Psychiatry News

Intervention Helped Educate Doctors about Drug Costs. (Prescribing Decisions)

Article excerpt

An intervention aimed at educating physicians about drug costs led to modest improvements in their awareness of the financial burden of medications on their patients, Dr. Ethan A. Hahn of Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, and his colleagues reported.

The investigators surveyed 109 physicians at four hospitals before and after an intervention, which consisted of an interactive teaching conference and distribution of a pocket guide showing average wholesale prices (AWP) for more than 100 drugs commonly used in primary care practices.

After the intervention, respondents were more likely to report asking their patients about out-of-pocket drug costs (27% after vs. 22% before) and less likely to feel unaware of drug costs (72% after vs. 78% before).

The guide included information such as the fact that the retail price of most drugs is actually about 30% higher than the AWP.

The 45-minute conference included information on insurance coverage and its impact on the costs of the drugs to patients. These sessions also noted that Medicare does not pay for outpatient drugs. The study authors said that it was not the goal of the educational program to have physicians prescribe cheaper drugs, but to have them consider costs when making prescribing decisions. …

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