13 min

S2, Ep 6-  Non-Medical Switching: What It Is and How It Harms Patients Healthcare Matters

    • Medicine

It’s frustrating for chronically ill patients, like those living with mental health disorders, when their proven drug therapies are switched or substituted—sometimes justifiably, other times for companies to make more money. In the first of two episodes on this topic, we examine what’s behind non-medical switching and how it could harm patients.

"Non-medical switching is basically substituting one molecule for another for the sole purpose of an economic outcome that is favorable to the insurer or the pharmacy benefit management company," says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Among the highlights in this episode:

1:44: Listener review

3:12: What is generic substitution?

3:37: Looking at the difference between switching a medication and a substitution

3:55: The difference between therapeutic substitution and non-medical switching

5:07: Who benefits from non-medical switching?

5:40: Recognizing the importance of shared decision-making with patients 

6:26: Conner speaks about how a patient was negatively impacted by non-medical switching, and how it increased this patient's costs

7:47: Robert discusses how changing the formulary causes patients to suffer 

6:46: What legislation is being passed to protect patients?

10:12: Study: 60% of patients who experienced non-medical switching reported a medical complication

11:03: Robert shares his final thoughts

Contact our hosts:

Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at GHLF: rpopovian@ghlf.org

Conner Mertens, Patient Advocate and Community Outreach Manager at GHLF: cmertens@ghlf.org

We want to hear what you think. Send your comments, or a video or audio clip of yourself to Healthcarematters@GHLF.org.

Catch up on pastepisodes of Healthcare Matters on our website or on your favorite podcast channel.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

It’s frustrating for chronically ill patients, like those living with mental health disorders, when their proven drug therapies are switched or substituted—sometimes justifiably, other times for companies to make more money. In the first of two episodes on this topic, we examine what’s behind non-medical switching and how it could harm patients.

"Non-medical switching is basically substituting one molecule for another for the sole purpose of an economic outcome that is favorable to the insurer or the pharmacy benefit management company," says Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at the Global Healthy Living Foundation.

Among the highlights in this episode:

1:44: Listener review

3:12: What is generic substitution?

3:37: Looking at the difference between switching a medication and a substitution

3:55: The difference between therapeutic substitution and non-medical switching

5:07: Who benefits from non-medical switching?

5:40: Recognizing the importance of shared decision-making with patients 

6:26: Conner speaks about how a patient was negatively impacted by non-medical switching, and how it increased this patient's costs

7:47: Robert discusses how changing the formulary causes patients to suffer 

6:46: What legislation is being passed to protect patients?

10:12: Study: 60% of patients who experienced non-medical switching reported a medical complication

11:03: Robert shares his final thoughts

Contact our hosts:

Dr. Robert Popovian, Chief Science Policy Officer at GHLF: rpopovian@ghlf.org

Conner Mertens, Patient Advocate and Community Outreach Manager at GHLF: cmertens@ghlf.org

We want to hear what you think. Send your comments, or a video or audio clip of yourself to Healthcarematters@GHLF.org.

Catch up on pastepisodes of Healthcare Matters on our website or on your favorite podcast channel.

See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.

13 min