The Cost-Effectiveness of Medical Treatment
Develop a way to increase the cost-effectiveness of medical treatment. This may entail the utilization of a less expensive, yet no less effective, pharmacologic agent or treatment plan. Support your proposal using citations from at least two different peer-reviewed journal articles. Be sure to either attach or hyperlink the cited articles.
Increasing The Cost-Effectiveness of Medical Treatment
Healthcare expenditures globally have been rising sharply, with drug cost being a major contributing factor. Drug cost has become a popular political and media topic. There are various drugs that have become a major topic due to high prices. They include different types of therapeutic drugs and geographies, such as imatinib, after its costs tripled following the issuing of a new indication provided by the FDA. This has reduced the cost-effectiveness of medical treatment. Findings indicate that 25% of Americans struggle to afford prescriptions due to high out-of-pocket costs (Rajkumar, 2020). There is, therefore, a need to increase the cost-effectiveness of medical treatment.
A major strategy of increasing the effectiveness of medical treatment is increasing the usage of generic drugs, a concept that has been accepted in various parts of the world. The use of generic drugs has a greater potential to decrease out-of-pocket costs on drugs, especially for patients with chronic diseases. Generic drugs offer a substitution for brand prescriptions, and the practice is acceptable in many regions. Generic drugs are identical to their brand prescriptions in terms of active agents, but their inactive agents may vary, but the feature does not affect the activity and performance of the drug. Generic drugs in the United States have to be approved by the Federal and Drug Administration agency to indicate their safety, effectiveness, and purity. The most significant advantage of generic drugs is low cost, which according to o existing evidence, can be up to 85% less than the cost of brand-name medication (Razmaria, 2016). The lower cost of generic prescriptions has been linked with the increased likelihood of patients taking essential medication as prescribed by their healthcare professionals, increasing their health outcomes.
The use of generic medication has financial benefits not only to the patient but also to the insurance companies and other agencies. It is estimated that Medicare could save up to $1.4 billion associated with diabetes care if prescription patterns mirrored that of the VA system, which combines generic substitution and therapeutic interchange. Medicaid highlighted the substantial usage of brand-name prescriptions resulted in an access cost of $329 billion in just 20 therapeutic classes annually (Choudhry, Denberg, & Qaseem, 2016). Health authorities have put significant efforts into the increasing use of generic drugs to reduce health care costs. Brand-name medications are estimated to be 30-60% more expensive compared to generic drugs. Prescription-related costs are estimated to be $325 billion every year (Choudhry, Denberg, & Qaseem, 2016).
The move to increase the use of generic medication is supported by existing literature indicating that generic drugs have the capacity to generate quality health outcomes. The high cost of medication is closely linked to lower rates of long-term adherence to medication. The use of generic drugs increases long-term adherence to treatment plans reducing costs related to adverse health outcomes such as increased hospitalization, especially in the treatment of chronic illnesses. The utilization of generic drugs has been challenged by beliefs that they are inferior to brand-name prescriptions. Findings from most of the peer-reviewed literature indicate that generic drugs are as effective as brand-name prescriptions (Choudhry, Denberg, & Qaseem, 2016). Caution has only been raised while a patient switches from a brand-name prescription to generic prescriptions. This can be addressed by encouraging healthcare professionals to utilize generic prescriptions as the first option and switch to brand-name prescriptions if the need arises. Patients should also consult healthcare professionals before making a switch.
- Choudhry, N. K., Denberg, T. D., & Qaseem, A. (2016). Improving adherence to therapy and clinical outcomes while containing costs: opportunities from the greater use of generic medications: best practice advice from the Clinical Guidelines Committee of the American College of Physicians. Annals of internal medicine, 164(1), 41-49. https://www.acpjournals.org/doi/abs/10.7326/m14-2427
- Rajkumar, S. V. (2020). The High Cost of Prescription Drugs: Causes and Solutions. https://www.nature.com/articles/s41408-020-0338-x
- Razmaria, A. A. (2016). Generic drugs. Jama, 315(24), 2746-2746. https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/article-abstract/2530539