The rate of U.S. prescription-drug spending growth has declined in recent years, but payers should consider new methods for reducing drug costs, according to an analysis.
The National Institute for Health Care Reform published a policy analysis this month that examines the potential of implementing tools used by Australia, the U.K. and other countries to slow prescription-drug spending in the U.S. market.
Drug spending is expected to increase in the U.S. as more new drugs come to market during the next 10 years. The most common methods U.S. payers have used to encourage generic drug adoption and reduce spending have been price discounts and rebates, tiered formularies and use-management tools.
The analysis found that patient and physician preferences have limited the full adoption of generic drugs.
"Physicians often fail to discuss cost-related issues with their patients and are typically unaware of the cost of drugs," the authors said. “Even when physicians understand the importance of taking costs into account in prescribing, they often lack both time and needed information.”