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Doctors and drug costs

Executive Summary

Physicians infrequently communicate with patients about the cost of new medication prescriptions, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Managed Care. Researchers from the University of California assessed patient and physician surveys and transcriptions of 185 office visits from 1999. "For one third of newly prescribed medications, physicians discussed an aspect of acquisition, including cost and insurance coverage for 12%, logistics of obtaining medications for 18%, and medication supply for 9%," Derjung Tarn et al. state. "Interventions should target improving physician knowledge about helping patients achieve affordable medication regimens, as well as stressing the importance of recognizing and addressing cost and acquisition issues with patients," the authors conclude...
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