Given rising list prices and increasing rates of drug consumption, many health plan leaders and employers are seeking ways to lower drug costs for their plans. Some stakeholders theorize that increasing patient cost-sharing for medications will lower drug costs, thus lowering overall health care costs. The reality is more complex. More patient financial responsibility has been shown to decrease medication utilization, which in many cases increases medical costs down the line.
In this mythbuster, we walk through three reasons why the myth that higher copays for medications lowers total cost of care is wrong—and provide next steps for stakeholders to shape the future of drug benefit design.