Many low-income and moderate-income U.S. adults say they would be willing to pay about $18 extra per month for generous coverage for specialty drugs.
A team of researchers backed by Bristol-Myers Squibb Company, New York (NYSE:BMY) — a pharmaceutical company — has presented that finding in a survey report published in the latest issue of Health Affairs, a peer-reviewed academic journal that focuses on health care finance and health care organization.
The team included John Romley, a professor at the University of Southern California (USC); Yuri Sanchez, an economist at Precision Health Economics L.L.C., Los Angeles; Dana Goldman, a professor at USC; and John Penrod, an economist at Bristol-Myers.
The researchers based their paper on Internet survey responses from 270 U.S. adults.
The researchers note that commercial group plan enrollees who need specialty drugs for conditions such as cancer and severe arthritis spend an average of about $12,000 per year on the drugs.
Up until now, there has been “no direct evidence on how much health people value generous specialty drug coverage,” the researchers write in their paper.
The researchers told the survey participants that they had a 3% of needing specialty drugs in any given year, and that they could choose between a plan with no cost sharing for users of specialty drugs and a plan that capped out-of-pocket specialty drug costs at $167 per months.