Non-compliance, requests for generics on the rise, says survey

Physicians say patient compliance is getting worse, and they're hearing more requests for generic or OTC alternatives to prescribed medications as the economic malaise takes its toll, according to a Pri-Med survey.

Of the 473 respondents, 70% said they are hearing patients increasingly request generic or OTC alternatives, and 68% said they've noticed an increase in non-compliant behaviors with regards to medication usage among patients. More than half said they're seeing changes in patient payment, such as increased delinquencies or requests for payment plans, and 88% are seeing changes to patients' appointment behaviors, including increased cancellations and refusals of tests or screening procedures.

As a result, clinicians reported spending more time with patients at the point of care discussing prescription alternatives or the importance of compliance and prevention. They're also devoting more time to investigating lower-cost treatment options and formulary specifics to help out their patients, and more than three-quarters said they're making changes to their practice such as taking steps to minimize cancellations, expanding payment options and offering online or phone-based consultations.

The web-based poll, conducted from May 14 to May 21, was emailed to more than 16,000 Pri-Med alumni clinicians and garnered a response rate of 3%, the company said.

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