Put simply, foreign drug sourcing, sometimes known as “pharmaceutical tourism,” is the practice of importing prescription drugs into a country from other nations. Employers are searching for innovative methods to reduce their pharmacy spend because escalating prescription costs are one of the biggest expenses for self-funded health plans. As travel constraints loosen, they may want to take a look at overseas drug sourcing. Although there is potential to save money with this approach, there are several risk considerations to be aware of before implementing this plan.
From law to arrangements
There are two instances in which people may lawfully import prescription drugs, even though patients are normally not allowed to buy prescriptions abroad and bring them into many countries. Initially, foreign prescriptions for personal use, with a maximum 90-day supply, can be obtained by patients. If there is no reasonable risk and an appropriate therapy for a serious ailment is not accessible, then another, less typical scenario permits the importation of pharmaceuticals.
The logistical aspect of obtaining those meds is a major concern for members wishing to import their prescription drugs. Consider the pharmacy benefits management plan and your clients’ desired employer brand before analyzing the benefits and drawbacks of pharmaceutical tourism. You have to think about how members will feel about having to leave the nation to get a drug that used to be delivered right to their house or only a short drive away from their neighborhood pharmacy.
The interest in purchasing drugs abroad
It has long been known that buying prescription drugs from nations other than the United States can be more affordable. According to a 2020 Commonwealth Fund research, the United States accounts for less than 25% of medication sales despite spending more on prescription drugs than all 32 OECD nations put together. Employers are primarily interested in overseas drug procurement because it offers them the chance to save money over time on prescription drugs and build savings for their self-funded plan.
Companies that offer to help employees get necessary supplies from foreign nations may be seen by employers. Employers need to examine the risks and benefits of importing, even though this may appear appealing. In the end, there are some financial advantages to exploring the possibility of overseas drug sourcing, but not many.
Cons of Importing Prescription Drugs
Employers must take into account the shortcomings of this strategy for cutting drug spending. While assisting your self-funded clients with this strategy through a drug importing company (บริษัทนำเข้ายา, term in Thai), pay particular attention to these four major dangers. These include supply chain management challenges, clinical management issues, legal and safety issues, and travel constraints.
It’s important to consider the possible legal and safety issues associated with pharmaceutical tourism. To shield patients against negative drug-related consequences. Money wasted on a needless prescription is never wise. When considering people who are taking medication, it’s critical to ascertain if they are taking the appropriate drug for the appropriate amount of time. When it comes to foreign medication procurement, travel concerns are arguably the most realistic. To reduce the cost of prescription drugs, we need a more scalable approach, and upsetting the drug distribution system of another nation is probably not the best course of action.