Research firm Sector and Sovereign Research (SSR) says a new tactic insurers are deploying to limit financial assistance drug companies offer to patients may have played a role in the lower drug prices recorded in the second quarter, according to a Reuters report.
Per the report, real drug prices (prices including discounts and rebates) saw a 5.8 percent drop in the quarter. The lower prices amount to less sales revenue for drugmakers, but employers and payers, not patients, are more likely to see some benefit.
SSR analyst Richard Evans says “copay accumulator” programs that require drugmakers to continue financial assistance to patients for their copays were the culprit in the lower prices.
“Unless manufacturers adapt their copay support programs fairly drastically, net price declines may worsen in 2019,” he told Reuters.
GlaxoSmithKline Plc spokeswoman Ashley Mahoney says the company continues to “assess the impact of accumulators being offered in the health insurance market.”