5202.0: Wednesday, November 15, 2000 - 2:30 PM

Abstract #11016

Prescription drugs for low-income people: Strategies and policy issues

Kathryn Saenz Duke, JD, MPH, Public Health Institute, Pharmaceuticals and Indigent Care Program, 505 14 th Street, Suite 810, Oakland, CA 94612, 510/ 302-3302, kduke@phi.org

Overview. This session covers major strategies to help low-income people get appropriate medications, then moves to larger policy issues. Each invited presenter manages a statewide or national program using at least one of the following strategies for indigent care providers:

Use or create discount prices. Proactively use government purchasing power to obtain significant discounts for community clinics and other indigent care or public health providers. (Association of Clinicians for the Underserved; HRSA Office of Drug Pricing)

Create large buying clubs that negotiate directly with pharmacy companies to obtain discounts for community clinic or public hospital members. (Texas Association of Community Health Centers Pharmacy Group Purchasing Program; Public Hospital Pharmacy Coalition)

Use pharmaceutical companies’ programs. Proactively use pharmaceutical companies’ voluntary “patient assistance” programs and possibly other programs to help individuals unable to afford medications. (MEDBANK of Maryland; Pharmaceuticals and Indigent Care Program (California))

Change prescribing patterns. Develop programs tailored to public sector or community clinic providers that educate clinics and support prescribing and dispensing of cost-effective (e.g., generic) drugs. (Los Angeles County Health Department; TBN)

For each program described, discuss: A. How much of the target population’s need does this program cover? What changes could meet more need? B. What medical care and other health policy issues are raised by the strategies chosen? C. How might this program or its related policy issues be affected by other trends such as pharmaceutical company mergers and increasing numbers of uninsured, or by potential policy changes such as Medicare coverage of outpatient drugs?

Learning Objectives: Faculty will discuss recent statewide or national programs that employ one or more strategies to help indigent care providers purchase drugs more cost effectively and better integrate them into their care

Keywords: Access to Health Care, Drugs

Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Organization/institution whose products or services will be discussed: Pharmaceuticals and Indigent Care Program
I have a significant financial interest/arrangement or affiliation with any organization/institution whose products or services are being discussed in this session.
Relationship: I am employed as Director of this program

The 128th Annual Meeting of APHA