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June 30, 2016

Scrutiny of co-payments

Photo by OJO Images/Rex Features

By Valerie Ryan.

The first quantitative estimate of how medication adherence is affected by co-payments — or patients’ levies — for prescriptions is to be presented to the Winter Meeting of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland (RCPI) next month.

The research is examining how patient co-payments affect medication adherence in vulnerable populations.

The systematic review draws on literature from America and Canada, where a great deal of work has been carried out but researcher, Sarah-Jo Sinnott, from UCC’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, said the principles are the same.

However, while she believes the population studies are potentially comparable, money is the factor that makes the big difference. In Ireland the charge, or co-payment, on GMS prescriptions is 50c, while in Canada the figures go from $10 to $25 dollars.

Sinnott’s work on ‘The Effect of Co-payments for Prescriptions on Adherence to Medicines in Vulnerable Populations: a Systematic Review and Meta-analysis’ will be presented to the Winter Scientific meeting at the RCPI in Dublin on, December 5.