• Healthcare Challenge: Building a free market for medications

    by  • April 11, 2012 • Blog, Challenge

    One of the challenges in treating patients who are uninsured or underinsured is the availability of cheap medications. A patient benefits little if they are prescribed a medication that they cannot afford to purchase and take as directed by their physician.

    Julie Schuller, MD, Executive Vice President of the Sixteenth Street Community Health Center (Milwaukee, WI) suggests creating a mobile app that would allow patients to compare drug prices in a patients local area, allowing the patient to obtain the lowest cost medication.

    Taking this a step further, the price database could be used by physicians when prescribing medication to their patients. Many times there are several effective medications but the physician does not have an easy way to compare the out of pocket cost of each option. Providing this information to the physician would allow them to prescribe the lowest cost effective medication.

    What do you think – do the uninsured / underinsured have access to the smart phones and internet that would allow them to take advantage of such an advance? What are some other barriers – how would we get this information from the pharmacies and what motivation do they have to share the data?

    Think about it and you can help BuildHealth!