As consumers, patients need to take a more active role

UnknowninsurerKEY TAKEAWAY: As insurers merge and people pay more for healthcare they are going to have to take a more active role in the management of their health including what treatments THEY want and need as consumers of healthcare.

The days of your doctor knowing what’s best for you may be undermined by insurance companies, who will cover only certain medications.  Does this mean patients have to surrender to what their insurance providers will or will not cover?  Not necessarily.

Patients are going to have become more educated and informed about the medications they take and pharma has an opportunity to help them become more empowered.  Pharma needs to provide real world benefits of their medications and provide help to patient who are having trouble getting an Rx for a physician recommended product.

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I’m a firm believer that drugs, with a lot of competition, should conduct head to head clinical trials against insurer recommended drugs.  However, the focus should be on two primary areas; first, patient outcomes and second patient choice.  If a patient chooses a certain medication, there is probably a better chance they will be more compliant and thus better outcomes.

The more empowered a patient the better the chance they will get a treatment they want vs. one they are just prescribed.  We need the help them get the information, beyond marketing messages, that empower them to become consumers of healthcare.