Cancer Drug Use and Spending to Rise Sharply by 2013

What are the implications of increased drug use and spending? In a recent report by Medco, while the overall drug trend in 2010 remained low at 3.7%, the costs for specialty drugs “accounted for 16.3% of plan costs but was responsible for a remarkable 70.1% of drug trend” with diabetes contributing the most to those … Continue reading

Doctor’s orders may not be followed at pharmacy or by health insurer

A Team 4 (Pittsburgh ABC affiliate) investigation found the drug your doctor prescribes may not always be the exact same drug you get at the pharmacy: While it’d be nice to think that drug switching has stopped since the airing of this investigation November 2009, more than 80% of you readers say it is happening … Continue reading

96% say only the attending physician should be making clinical decisions regarding the patient

Do you agree or disagree with the following statement: When physicians prescribe a particular medication, they evaluate which drug is likely to work best for the individual patient — based on their knowledge of the patient’s illness and treatment history, other medical conditions, drug-to-drug interactions, and drug-disease interactions. Only the prescribing physician has enough clinical … Continue reading

Is drug switching fraudulent?

If you hand a pharmacist a prescription from your doctor for X drug, but the pharmacist gives you Y drug instead, is that fraudulent? The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fraud as “intentional perversion of truth in order to induce another to part with something of value”. In the example above, the pharmacist has knowingly given you … Continue reading

Take my drug switching survey

Drug switching (aka therapeutic substitution) occurs when your pharmacist, health plan or health insurer gives you a drug that is different from the one that your doctor prescribed. Switching from a brand name drug to its chemically equivalent is generic substitution and is generally allowed by law. However, switching to a drug that is not … Continue reading