The Consequences of Requesting "Dispense as Written"
ABSTRACT All US states have adopted generic substitution laws to reduce medication costs. However, physicians may override these regulations by prescribing branded drugs and requesting that they are dispensed as written. Patients also can make these requests. Little is known about the frequency and correlates of dispense as written requests or their association with medication filling.
We identified beneficiaries of a large pharmacy benefits manager who submitted a prescription claim from any pharmacy in January 2009. We categorized claims as a physician-assigned dispense as written, patient-assigned dispense as written, or no dispense as written. We described rates of these requests and used generalized estimating equations to evaluate physician, patient, treatment, and pharmacy characteristics associated with dispense as written requests. We also used generalized estimating equations to assess the relationship between dispense as written designation and rates prescriptions are not filled by patients.
Our sample included 5.6 million prescriptions for more than 2 million patients. More than 2.7% were designated as dispense as written by physicians, and 2.0% were designated as dispense as written by patients. Substantial variation in dispense as written requests were seen by medication class, patient and physician age, and geographic region. The odds of requesting dispense as written was 78.5% greater for specialists than generalists (P<;.001). When chronic prescriptions were initiated, physician dispense as written (odds ratio 1.50, P<;.001) and patient dispense as written (odds ratio 1.60, P<;.001) were associated with greater odds that patients did not fill the prescription.
Dispense as written requests were common and associated with decreased rates of prescription filling. Options to reduce rates of dispense as written requests may reduce costs and improve medication adherence.
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ABSTRACT: Aaron Kesselheim and colleagues examine potential strategies to promote greater prescribing of generic drugs and follow-on biologics.PLoS Medicine 03/2015; 12(3):e1001802. DOI:10.1371/journal.pmed.1001802 · 14.00 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Generic substitution means that one medicinal product is replaced by another product containing the same active substance. It is strictly regulated with respect to its bioequivalence, and all products must have undergone appropriate studies. Although generic substitution is widely implemented, it still remains to be answered how generic switch influences persistence to long-term treatment, and if it is modified by patients' concerns about medicine and views on generic medicine. This study focuses on users of antidepressants and antiepileptics, and their experience of generic switching. The study was an observational cohort study. By use of a prescription database, we identified patients who had redeemed prescriptions on generically substitutable drugs, and a questionnaire was mailed to them. We analyzed predictors of discontinuation in relation to generic switch and patients' attitudes towards generic medicines and concerns about their medicine. Patients who experience their first-time switch of a specific drug were at higher risk of non-persistence, Hazard Ratio 2.98, 95% CI (1.81;4.89) versus those who have never switched, and 35.7% became non-persistent during the first year of follow-up. Generic switching did not influence persistence considerably in those having previous experience with generic switching of the specific drug. Stratified analyses on users of antidepressants and antiepileptics underpin the results, showing higher risk of non-persistence for first-time switchers for both drug categories. In conclusion, patients who are first-time switchers of a specific drug were at higher risk of non-persistence compared to never switchers and those having experienced previous generic switching.PLoS ONE 10(3):e0119688. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119688 · 3.53 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Background: Statins are effective in preventing cardiovascular events, but patients do not fully adhere to them. Objective: To determine whether patients are more adherent to generic statins versus brand-name statins (lovastatin, pravastatin, or simvastatin) and whether greater adherence improves health outcomes. Design: Observational, propensity score-matched, new-user cohort study. Setting: Linked electronic data from medical and pharmacy claims. Participants: Medicare beneficiaries aged 65 years or older with prescription drug coverage between 2006 and 2008. Intervention: Initiation of a generic or brand-name statin. Measurements: Adherence to statin therapy (measured as the proportion of days covered [PDC] up to 1 year) and a composite outcome comprising hospitalization for an acute coronary syndrome or stroke and all-cause mortality. Hazard ratios (HRs) and absolute rate differences were estimated. Results: A total of 90 111 patients who initiated a statin during the study was identified; 83 731 (93%) initiated a generic drug, and 6380 (7%) initiated a brand-name drug. The mean age of patients was 75.6 years, and most (61%) were female. The average PDC was 77% for patients in the generic group and 71% for those in the brand-name group (P < 0.001). An 8% reduction in the rate of the clinical outcome was observed among patients in the generic group versus those in the brand-name group (HR, 0.92 [95% CI, 0.86 to 0.99]). The absolute difference was -1.53 events per 100 person-years (CI, -2.69 to -0.19 events per 100 person-years). Limitation: Results may not be generalizable to other populations with different incomes or drug benefit structures. Conclusion: Compared with those initiating brand-name statins, patients initiating generic statins were more likely to adhere and had a lower rate of a composite clinical outcome.Annals of internal medicine 09/2014; 161(6):400-407. DOI:10.7326/M13-2942 · 16.10 Impact Factor