Prospect of lower co-pays encourages pill splitting, study finds
Splitting cholesterol pills may split your drug costs, and does not significantly affect cholesterol levels, a new study finds.More than 100 patients agreed to participate in a six-month trial of pill splitting involving cholesterol pills. Half received a 50% reduction in their co-payment per refill; half did not. In a follow-up survey, most participants said that would be willing to continue splitting pills if they would receive a co-pay reduction. The study appears in the June issue of the American Journal of Managed Care by a team from the University of Michigan Health System and the U-M College of Pharmacy.
Currently, few prescription plans encourage pill-splitting - charging lower co-pays to patients who buy high-dose pills they intend to split. While cholesterol drugs can typically be split, not all drugs should be cut up, such as drugs that exit the body quickly, or that have time-release coatings.