Clear As Mud: Evaluating the Prescription Drug Marketplace

November 5, 2018

Today’s patient population is more involved in their care than ever before. Before making a commitment to a prescription, more are investigating the effectiveness, benefits and side effects of each medication. So, where do they go? At first, online. At the GeekWire Summit one panelist estimated 80% of people start their medical journey on Google, long before stepping into a doctor’s office for a formal consult. Providers have largely embraced this shift in attitude and responsibility, encouraging consumers to roll up their sleeves and advocate for themselves.

Unfortunately, much of this information lives in a digital rabbit hole where boundaries between evidence and opinion can be blurred. Estimating a real-world cost tied to a consumer’s specific health plan is difficult to find online, where often the only pricing readily available is the industry average. Knowing the expense of a prescription may act as a double-edged sword, too, potentially dissuading consumers from higher priced, but potentially more effective options. Without taking effectiveness and quality into consideration, health outcomes can ultimately suffer if people focus only on costs.

Sean Karbowicz, general manager of MedSavvy, a Cambia company, knows the industry must take the lead in providing quality information alongside cost, empowering consumers with the access and tools to best vet their options. MedSavvy’s online drug quality and cost transparency tool simplifies validated third party information into a scorecard for prescriptions, unlocking consumers’ access to the same information as pharmacists and providers. Providing this data in layperson’s terms helps consumers better understand all medication options and facilitates informed health decisions.

To learn more about how the health care industry can help consumers take back the reins in the prescription drug marketplace, read Sean Karbowicz’s call to action in Modern Healthcare: A case for quality: America’s prescription drug marketplace is broken.

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