PHARMA/QUALITY: New York Times discovers compliance

Says here, compliance with drug regimens is a big problem. (Adopt Harry Shearer voice with hard “en” sound in “knew”)”

Who knew? Who knew?

And McKesson, plus a boat load of other DM, PBM and pharma-related companies (like Pfizer Health Solutions) are bugging patients to take their pills, and increasing pharma company profits into the bargain. And even after digging up David Sobel, John Abramson & Jerry Avorn, the NYT can’t find too much bad to be said about these programs — even though pharma companies are paying for them. Everyone agrees compliance is good, and getting patients to take their pills is hard work.

But I didn’t notice them referring to any compliance programs for generics. Funny that.

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  1. What do you make of this McKinsey study that shows CDHP members are more likely to follow their regimens than others of more comprehensive plans? [1]
    I raised this issue at Managed Care Matters a while back but Joe Paduda did not take it kindly and any substantive discussion of why went completely “SPLAT!!”. [2]
    My analysis is that by giving patients ownership of their future healthcare costs, patients are more likely to comply with treatment regiments now to save in the future and that this is completely in line with the Coase theorem, one of the more famous in economics which states simply that many “social problems” can be solved by properly aligning property rights.
    It’s also worth noting that a Commonwealth Fund / EBRI study directly challenges the McKinsey findings, if I recall correctly.
    Your thoughts?
    Trapier K. Michael
    [1] http://www.mckinsey.com/clientservice/payorprovider/Health_Plan_Report.pdf
    [2] http://www.joepaduda.com/archives/000412.html