Pharma Fighting Drug Payment Accumulator Programs

The programs force drug companies to pay more to help patients with their copayments.

There’s been a decline in real drug prices this year that may continue into next year thanks to drug payment accumulator programs. The programs discourage patients from using savings coupons to buy brand name drugs because the purchases will no longer be counted as part of the deductible. As Reuters reports, patients are encouraged to use less expensive drugs instead.

Insurers argue that the coupons hide the true cost of the medications, costs that the drug companies continue to raise. For their part, drug manufacturers argue that that may be true but the coupons also help in the face of insurers’ raising copayments and deductibles.

Reuters reports that some of the ways drug companies plan to fight back include payment schemes that will allow use of accumulators to fly under the PBMs’ radar so that patients still benefit from the financial aid.

Employers like drug payment accumulator programs, Reuters reports. “A survey by the National Business Group on Health (NBGH), which represents large corporate employers, showed that 17% of respondents said they were currently using a copay accumulator program. Another 18% of respondents are considering using one next year or in 2020.”