Cost being equal, consumers prefer older drugs
MANAGED CARE July 2005. ©MediMedia USA
Seven out of 10 consumers would prefer a drug that had been on the market for 10 years or more, compared to a newer drug, even if the copayments were equal. Further, 31 percent believe newer drugs are less safe than older drugs, according to the Medco Monitor, a nationwide household survey. The report surveyed 1,092 insured adults.
Formulary decision makers take heart: This could be a sign that consumers are more inclined to start using generic medications.
Ann Smith, a spokeswoman for Medco Health Solutions, says, "Just the idea that these older medications have been on the market for some time — they're tried and proven in the consumer's mind. They see the safety profile and effectiveness. And then you factor in the [usually] lower cost of an older drug. Consumers see that older may be better, or at least safer. If there's a cost savings, they are comfortable choosing an older drug."
Other findings from the survey include:
- Only 11 percent of adults over age 59 felt that newer drugs were safer than older drugs.
- One third of respondents felt that newer drugs were more effective than drugs that have been on the market for 10 years or more.
- Women reported greater knowledge about generic drugs (63 percent) than men (54 percent), and were 20 percent more likely than men to have chosen a generic drug to save money in the past year.
- Women were more likely than men to question the safety of newer drugs, and were more likely than men to believe that newer drugs were less effective than older drugs.
|Would you prefer to take a prescription drug that is new to the market
or one that has been on the market for 10 or more years?
|New to market||16%|
|On the market for more than 10 years||68%|
Source: The Medco Monitor