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Reducing The Cost Of Prescription Drugs Remains A Challenge In 2021 As the Year Ends

December 15, 2021
By Catherine Reynolds

In 2021, T1International published their Out-Of-Pocket Cost survey conducted among people living with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Individuals with T1D require accurate blood glucose monitoring throughout the day and multiple dosages of insulin. This study confirms previous reports of ~25% of people in the United States with T1D using less insulin and/or fewer supplies at least once in the last year due to cost. Reflecting an upward trend in costs, individuals with T1D from the U.S. reported some of the highest out-of-pocket costs in the world, averaging $490 per month. 

According to data from FleishmanHillard’s TRUE Global Intelligence 2021 Health Checkup Survey: The Price We Pay – Access to Affordable Treatments and Its Impact on Americans, affordability was among the top healthcare challenges Americans anticipated facing in 2021. Reducing the cost of prescription drugs and having affordable and easy access to insulin and supplies is an important issue to four out of five Americans. 

These increasing prices of prescription medications in the U.S. in recent years has had an impact on physicians as well as patients. In a paper recently published in Neurology, physicians find that “High drug prices have created substantial challenges for patients, physicians, health systems, and payers. High drug prices can affect patient care in many ways, including limiting access to treatment, increasing the burden of administrative tasks, and contributing to physician burnout.” 

As part of our study, we also sought to understand trust in healthcare institutions and American’s expectations as to who should be solving for these issues, as well as, the relationship between the reliance and trust.

We found that trust and reliance have a negative correlation, where the more reliant Americans are on institutions to solve for healthcare issues such as drug pricing, the more difficult it becomes to build trust in those organizations. Understanding this relationship may provide insight into how authentic communications can play a role in strengthening these relationships.

According to the FleishmanHillard’s TRUE Global Intelligence survey to build trust through authenticity, Americans express the need for companies to be more transparent around drug pricing and disclose to the general public as to why there are increases in drug prices (63%).