The Liabilities of Non-Medication Switching and Other Insurer Practices

Michael Wong, JD (founder and executive director of the Physician-Patient Alliance for Health & Safety) spoke about the liabilities of non-medication switching and other insurer practices, such as prior authorizations and step therapies, at the Cardiometabolic Health Congress, which took place from October 24-27, 2018. Speaking with Mr. Wong were:

  • Seth J. Baum, MD, FASPC, who is Affiliate Clinical Professor of Medicine at Florida Atlantic University Medical School. Dr. Baum is also President of the American Society for Preventive Cardiology.
  • Kim Newlin, NP, CNS, FPCNA, FAHA, who is a Cardiovascular Clinical Nurse Specialist and Adult Nurse Practitioner at Sutter Roseville Medical Center in Roseville, California. Ms. Newlin is President-Elect of the Preventive Cardiovascular Nurses Association (PCNA).

Non-Medication Switching occurs when, without the consent of the patient or the prescribing physician, the prescription is filled by a drug other than the one prescribed. The switch usually occurs to a generic; however, the “switched” drug may not be therapeutically equivalent to the physician-prescribed medication, which may have an adverse effect on patient care.

Moreover, the Alliance for Patient Access found that switching of rheumatoid arthritis medications resulted in higher patient costs. The American Heart Association and the American College of Cardiology oppose therapeutic substitution, believing that “only the prescribing doctor is equipped to determine the best drug or combination of drugs” and that therapeutic substitution “may result in the patient receiving a drug that doesn’t work well enough, produces life-threatening toxicity, or interacts dangerously with other drugs the patient is taking.”

If you have experienced non-medication switching or know someone who has, please contact us.

To see a copy of the presentation given by Mr. Wong, please click here.

Leave a Comment, if You Care About Patient Safety