A medical specialist from the Jerusalem Health and Social Services Authority has suggested that the most efficient way to save money on your healthcare insurance coverage is to shop around.
The Authority, which administers the country’s insurance market, has issued a guideline to insurers on the subject, which states that the best way to improve the efficiency of the system is to buy at least two or three generic drugs, and to buy them from the cheapest supplier.
The recommendation has already been implemented, and the Authority said it would also work on improving the quality of generic drugs.
In an interview with The Jerusalem Mail, Dr. Shimon Shapira, head of the department of preventive medicine at the authority, said that a large majority of patients in the system buy their prescriptions from a private pharmacy, but that a few have to pay a premium to get the drugs from the local pharmacy.
According to Dr. Shapira and others, the cheapest option for patients to obtain these drugs from a generic pharmacy is to pay an additional premium, which will not only cost them a lot of money, but also increase their chances of getting them wrong.
Dr. Shahar Meir, the head of preventive services at the health ministry, explained to The Jerusalem Report that a majority of people pay the extra premium to avoid the need to go to the doctor.
According the guidelines, the patient should also take the time to understand the product, its potency and its side effects.
The patient should then make a choice between buying it directly from the manufacturer or buying it through the pharmacist.
According a survey by the Authority, only about one-third of the patients are aware that the prices of the drugs are set by the manufacturer.
As a result, patients end up paying the full price for the drugs, which can lead to expensive complications, according to Dr Shimon.
The guidelines are based on the principle that the cheapest generic drugs are the ones that are cheaper, as they are the most easily available.
The medical specialists, however, warned that the guidelines should not be taken literally, and that the health system should work on reducing the price of generic medicines.
“We know that patients sometimes don’t understand the difference between the prices and the quality,” Dr. Meir said.
“In the future, we will be working on a systematic approach to decrease the prices, and make it easier for patients who have a difficult time understanding this.”
The guidelines will also help the Authority to make sure that the drugs that are bought are quality ones.
“I hope that we will improve the quality, and also reduce the prices,” Dr Meir added.
“But we need to be careful not to overdo it.”
While the guidelines are still being implemented, there is no evidence to suggest that the price for generic drugs is a serious problem for the health care system.
A recent survey by Health Affairs and Technology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem revealed that the average price for two generics was around $100, which is more than double the average cost of the generic medications used in Israel.
Nevertheless, many patients in Israel are paying more for the generic drugs than they should.
According for the report, of the approximately 20 million Israelis, less than 3 percent of them pay more than the minimum price for their prescriptions, while 80 percent of patients pay the price in excess of $1,000 per prescription.
The study also found that about two-thirds of the people who have been hospitalized in Israel because of a non-compliant medication had a negative response to the drug.
In addition, some doctors and pharmacists are being sued over the drug price hike.
A few weeks ago, Dr Meiret and others sued three private pharmacies for raising prices of generic medications, and have filed suit against the local pharmacist, who has also been sued.
The pharmaceutical company said that it will file a counter suit against those companies, which are also facing accusations of price-fixing.
The lawsuit filed against the pharmacies by Dr. David Zuroff and others claims that they raised prices on generic medicines in violation of the terms of service of their insurance companies, and violated the terms and conditions of their contracts with patients.
A spokeswoman for the pharmaceutical company told The Jerusalem Paper that it had nothing to do with the lawsuit.
“It is completely false and misleading to say that our insurers do not allow us to increase the prices on drugs that our patients need,” the spokesperson said.
In fact, in the past few months, the Authority has seen a rise in the prices for generic medicines, which the Pharmaceutical Benefits Administration (PBSA) has been monitoring.
In a recent report, PBSA found that in the first half of this year, the average pharmacy’s price for a generic drug was over $1.50 per pill, compared to about $2.20 in the second half of the year.
In the meantime, many doctors have started to increase their prices on the generic medicines for patients with severe side effects, which include gastrointestinal problems