Good neighbors are great, but not for everyone.
For the last year or so, there’s been a trend of drug manufacturers and retailers trying to make it easier for people to buy their medicine without being seen.
That’s what the good neighbor program is all about.
It’s been created by two groups of people who are trying to get rid of prescription drug prices, said Ben Kamin, a former CEO of Health Net and a member of the Good Neighbor Network.
“The goal of the program is to provide the same service, but at a fraction of the cost,” Kamin said.
The program’s biggest hurdle has been convincing doctors to use it.
Patients are being asked to sign a contract that says if they don’t use the program, they will be charged a $1,500 surcharge for every prescription they fill, a significant expense for doctors who typically charge between $50 and $200 for a doctor’s office visit.
But doctors aren’t happy.
They are calling it the drug copayment loophole and are trying in vain to block it.
Doctors are pushing for a better solution: they want to see patients’ names on the label, so they can know which prescription they are ordering.
“We’re asking for $1.50 on the pill and then it’s $1 per prescription,” said Dr. Dan Pimentel, an OB/GYN at the University of Maryland.
“It’s a very, very expensive pill.”
That is a problem for doctors because they’re going to have to charge their patients a much higher fee than they were used to.
But the problem isn’t just that doctors have to go through the hassle of signing up, Kamin says.
This program could be the answer.
One way it could be solved is to make the drug surcharge go away, Pimentels co-author said.
Instead of paying doctors $1 a pill, the drug could be $1 instead of $1 and the price could be changed so that patients don’t have to pay more than $1 if they’re looking to fill a prescription.
That way, people could pay less, Piments co-authors said.
The drug surbate could be a big step toward making the drug costs lower.
And it could work.
A study of more than 1,000 Americans found that people who were told their medication was coming from Good Neighbor pharmacies reported lower pain and anxiety and higher levels of self-esteem, compared to people who weren’t told that their medication came from Good Neighbors.
That was because people were more likely to see the doctor or see their doctor again after they had a problem with their medication, according to the study.