These are all important issues because they're linked to whether patients will continue taking their medications, the researchers note.
"Though cost discussions are not always necessary, especially if physicians know a patient's financial situation and the best formulary choice for a medication, physicians must have a high level of awareness about medication cost and issues impeding acquisition to medication, because these can be important barriers to patient medication adherence," lead author Dr. Derjung Tarn, assistant professor of family medicine at the University of California, Los Angeles, David Geffen School of Medicine, said in a prepared statement.
Her team's published the findings in the November issue of the American Journal of Managed Care.
The study included 185 patients who had outpatient visits with 15 family doctors, 18 internists and 11 cardiologists. In total, about 243 new medications were prescribed during these visits.
In only 33 percent of the cases did the doctors talk with patients about issues related to medication cost, insurance, generic or name-brand, logistics, supply and refills. Cost and insurance were addressed 12 percent of the time, the logistics of obtaining medications 18 percent of the time, and medication supply 9 percent of the time.
Patients initiated discussions about medication costs or insurance in only 2 percent of the cases.
The study found that discussions about drug costs were more likely to occur if a patient earned less than $20,000 per year than if they earned more than $60,000 a year.
Family doctors and internists were less likely than cardiologists to talk with patients about costs, and all doctors were less likely to do so when prescribing medications to older patients, the study said.
source - Healthaday News
I don't know about this study, but I am always asking the price of the prescribed medicine, as well as what part will be reembursed by social security. Do you not?