Co-Pay Card “Played Out”: Manufacturer Belief, Not Patients’ - Return On Focus Return On Focus | | Return On Focus

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Co-Pay Card “Played Out”: Manufacturer Belief, Not Patients’

Tags: Adherence

We have previously discussed the dangers of relying on just a co-pay card to serve as your adherence strategy. Despite this, I believe the co-pay card is still an important tool in the marketing armamentarium.


However, I’ve begun to notice that because the co-pay card is no longer the new, ‘bright shiny object’ among most marketing and sales teams, its perceived efficacy is believed to have waned. I’m here to tell you that this belief of the Co-Pay Card being ‘played out’ only exists within the minds of manufacturers.

Why do I say that? In a recent ROF study of patients in a symptomatic, heavy DTC marketing category, we found that most patients have not only not used a co-pay card, but many are not even aware they exist for their medications. Here are some of the topline results:

  • ~98% of the patients had not used a co-pay card for the condition
  • ~96% had never used a co-pay card for any condition despite suffering from an average of 2+ comorbidities in addition to the one studied
  • Among the 4% that were even aware of co-pay cards, almost all had avocations that put them in the doctors office, but this fact still didn’t increase their own use of them

Note that all the participants in the study were on a prescription product, many of which currently offer co-pay cards.

The results of this study illustrate that more diagnostics are needed before we can conclude that co-pay cards are played out. The high number of people not using co-pay card could be due to a variety of factors such as low awareness, ineffective promotions, etc. It’s tempting to move on to the next ‘bright shiny object’ but conducting the right research on your existing set should be the first order of business!


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