Sunday, May 25, 2008

Behaviorism Health Care

So Express Scripts surveyed thousands of customers to understand better their concerns about generics. It learned some were uncomfortable with how to tell their doctors they wanted to switch, or felt it wasn't their role as patients to bring up the topic. Others found the whole topic too complicated to bother with.

With those concerns in mind, Express Scripts made several changes to how customers were informed about simvastatin, such as shortening the text in its literature and changing its color and including a letter that patients could just hand to their doctor requesting a switch.

The company also framed the message to focus not merely on cost savings, but on how generics can be the better value -- explaining that drugs that cost more but don't do more aren't a better value. People often believe branded or costlier drugs simply are better, says Dr. Nease, whereas Express Scripts' new message stated that the "best buys" are drugs that cost less and do the same thing.

Generic statin use among its customers soared to 53% as of March of this year, Express Scripts is expected to say at a conference Tuesday.

Interesting. I wonder if there could ever be a "tipping point" effect, whereby the idea becomes "socialized" that, like recycling, seeking healthcare cost savings is A Good Thing.

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