Survey Provides New Insight on Therapeutic Substitution

Before leaving the pharmacy, patients should take the time to check their medication and ask the pharmacist questions and ensure they are getting the medicine they’ve been prescribed.

According to a new survey sponsored by AstraZeneca, survey data reveals that 84 percent of American patients surveyed feel that their physician should be the leading decision maker in what prescription medications they take for a condition.

The survey also found that that 87 percent of these patients want to be told at the pharmacy if they are not getting their originally prescribed medication.

Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. It is possible that the patient’s health insurance company may contact the patient, their doctor, or pharmacist to ask that the patient be changed from the currently prescribed medication to a different drug in the same therapeutic category. This practice is called therapeutic substitution.

Knowing your rights as a patient can help you navigate conversations with your doctor and pharmacist if you do find yourself faced with therapeutic substitution. When your doctor prescribes a medication, it is because they feel it is the right one for you. To make sure you get exactly “what the doctor ordered,” click here for some helpful tips and information.

The AstraZeneca-sponsored survey, conducted by StrategyOne using Toluna field services, was fielded online between May 19-23, 2011 among a nationwide cross-section of 1,000 U.S. adults aged 18 and older. The overall margin of error was ± 3.1 percentage points at a 95 percent confidence interval.

-By Rachelle Benson, Senior Manager for Brand Corporate Affairs at AstraZeneca

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