Prescription drug coupons can save consumers money on brand-name pharmaceuticals, but a California lawmaker says they can also drive up the cost of health insurance.
Assemblymember Jim Wood (D-Healdsburg) introduced AB 265 which would limit the use of coupons to pay for prescription medicines when there are cheaper FDA-approved equivalents available.
Wood said the coupons are a marketing tool used by drugmakers to get consumers to buy more expensive brand-named drugs. When a coupon is used to pay for a prescription, the drugmaker picks up some of the out-of-pocket cost. While the consumer saves money, Wood said insurers are left to pick the remaining cost the coupon and customer copay don't cover.
"The insurance company's going to pay that higher price, and at the end of the day, it's going...