News of the Day ... in Perspective1/6/2003
Seniors’ price shopping results in lower prices than insurer negotiations
A key argument for passing prescription drug coverage was the supposed ability of large insurers to obtain significant price discounts not available to individual patients.
According to Brief Analysis No. 463 from the National Center for Policy Analysis, patient price-shopping is just as effective as the leverage exerted by large insurers. http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba/ba463/
An analysis of 70,000 drug purchases showed that for the 39 drugs most frequently purchased, there was no significant difference between the price paid directly by patients and the price paid by third parties. When there was a significant difference, the patients paid lower prices twice as often.
Higher cost sharing was associated with a lower unit price for 70 percent of the drugs.