Health Services Research & Development

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Zullig LL, Granger BB, Vilme H, Oakes MM, Bosworth HB. Potential impact of pharmaceutical industry rebates on medication adherence. The American journal of managed care. 2019 May 1; 25(5):e135-e137.
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Abstract: Many patients struggle to take their prescription medications as prescribed. Multiple interacting factors influence medication nonadherence. The cost of medications, particularly a patient's out-of-pocket cost, spans several of these domains. One proposed option for reducing a patient's out-of-pocket cost involves directly sharing manufacturer rebates with patients to lower their out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy counter. Rebates are widely used across industries (eg, pharmaceutical manufacturers, tourism taxes, automobile manufacturers) in negotiations between sellers and buyers for a particular product. Medication rebates play an important role in the current US pharmaceutical marketplace. However, rebate contract terms are not publicly reported, so it is difficult for patients to determine if, and how, a rebate is reflected in their out-of-pocket costs. This commentary addresses the role of rebates in the current US healthcare landscape and their relationship with medication adherence.