Doctors have great interest in a web-based resource that shows the current prices of comparable brand name and generic drugs at pharmacies in a chosen zip code, according to a study conducted by Community Catalyst.

In the study, physicians highly concerned about patients' abilities to pay for medications were presented with hypothetical resources showing the retail and out-of-pocket costs for drugs at local pharmacies. Following exposure to each resource, the doctors indicated that it would likely facilitate discussions of affordability, reduce non-adherence, and improve patient engagement. Physicians also reported which comparative features were the most useful, how often they would use such a resource, and how such a resource might save time addressing cost.

The study, made possible through a California HealthCare Foundation grant, shows how reliable, accessible information on drug prices could lower patient costs, improve provider efficiency, and encourage medication adherence.

"Based on our pilot study, we suggest that comprehensive web-based drug pricing resources would have multiple benefits for both providers and their patients by fostering better patient-prescriber engagement, at the point of prescribing," the authors concluded. "Such a resource would provide providers with accurate price information for comparison between therapeutic options within any therapeutic class. Having ready access to this resource may give prescribers the confidence to initiate patient engagement, through communications about drug costs and affordability."

The study is available here.

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