Friday, June 09, 2023

Helping Patients Ease Medication-Affordability Anxiety

Today’s guest post comes from Kristina Crockett, VP, Product Management at CoverMyMeds.

Kristina shares the story of Shanette, a single mother who faced sticker shock at the pharmacy counter. Kristina then explains how manufacturers can increase patient access and affordability with a comprehensive affordability strategy.

Click here to learn about CoverMyMeds’ medication access solutions for pharma.

Read on for Kristina’s insights.

Helping Patients Ease Medication-Affordability Anxiety
By Kristina Crockett, VP, Product Management, CoverMyMeds

Last year when Shanette, a single mom of two boys living in Chicago, couldn’t afford the copay for an epinephrine auto-injector, she went without it. Instead, she carried an over-the-counter medicine and stayed vigilant at restaurants for possible nut allergens.

She shared how lingering inflation and the unpredictability of stage 4 cancer, which she’s been living with for 10 years, make her anxious about the future. “The economy is crazy right now,” Shanette said. “I'm very concerned, and I’m just hoping my health remains at bay.”

Shanette isn’t alone. In the last year, 60% of surveyed patients experienced similar sticker shock at pharmacies when the price of their prescription was more than expected, according to CoverMyMeds’ recent patient survey. (CoverMyMeds, Patient Survey, 2022) Of these patients, 24% went without their medication entirely—like Shanette. (CoverMyMeds, Patient Survey, 2022) Fifty-two percent of surveyed patients said they expect inflation to impact their ability to afford their medications in 2023, with 1 in 10 doubting they’ll be able to afford their medications at all. (CoverMyMeds, Patient Survey, 2022)

By providing patients with access to affordable medications and services to help them stay adherent to their therapies, barriers to care can be overcome. Healthcare technology, like copay programs and automated claim rejection programs, could lead to greater access and adherence for patients, as this article explores.


Each patient’s journey is unique—from insurance coverage status to individual diagnoses. With strategic support from industry partners to create a comprehensive affordability strategy, pharma manufacturers can navigate common barriers patients face. Ultimately, this network of partners can work in concert to help patients get the medicines they need.

Crafting an affordability strategy that maximizes patient reach and targets those most at risk for abandonment provides a more individualized path for patients to access their needed medicine. Comprehensive affordability strategies with access to a robust industry network can also minimize patients’ barriers when attempting to fill their prescription, which can lead to improved adherence.

For patients who are insured and their medication is covered but too expensive, a tailored tech-enabled copay program with an expansive network reach could automatically supplement to reduce a patient’s copay at tens of thousands of pharmacies. Another option is to provide patients with the ability to enroll in a copay program and bring their copay card to the pharmacy for a lower cost on their medication. These programs can be designed to target patients like Shanette who are at risk of abandoning therapy because of the cost of the medication. Tailored programs with the ability to target the most appropriate patients help create a comprehensive affordability strategy with patients at the core.

For patients who are insured but receive a claim rejection, there are tech-enabled solutions that help patients receive the medication their provider prescribed while a prior authorization request is waiting for determination. This capability may help increase speed to therapy and minimize those tough decisions patients are forced to make when faced with personal budget pressures.


As patients’ share of medication costs increases, access to therapy—and therefore therapies’ viability in the market—is greatly affected. Unfortunately, 65% of patients reported missed or delayed prescriptions last year. (CoverMyMeds, Patient Survey, 2022) This had a negative impact on their health, as 40% of those who experienced a delay in getting their medications had worsening symptoms and 60% felt additional stress or anxiety. (CoverMyMeds, Patient Survey, 2022)

The high rate of missed or delayed prescriptions is a serious problem for patients and brands alike. Keeping patients at the center of affordability program design is crucial to overall success, and a comprehensive affordability strategy that utilizes technology can help patients get the medicine they need to live healthier lives.

To learn more about how our solutions can help your brand and patients, visit:

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