New study released on Non-Medical Switching
The study, which entailed two in-person focus groups followed by a national online poll of 800 patients who had endured a non-medical switch, revealed that non-medical switching most often occurs due to the insurer:
- Restricting its formulary to exclude coverage for the patients’ original medicine (41%) or
- Altering coverage in a way that increases patients’ out-of-pocket costs (33%).
Patients most often find out about the switch at the pharmacy counter (48%).
The switch can come as a real blow. Patients reported:
- Placing a high value on having the right medicine (95%)
- Depending upon their original medicine to go about their day-to-day lives (88%)
- That it was tough to find that initial medicine that worked for them (60%).
The situation doesn’t get any better from there. Patients reported a slew of consequences, from an impact on their health to increased health care utilization.
- Nearly 40 percent of patients said the new medicine was not as effective
- Almost 60 percent experienced a complication from the new medication, such as a reemerging disease symptom, a new side effect or an interaction with another medication they take
- Nearly one in 10 reported being hospitalized for complications after the switch.