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Turns Out Your Skin Care Drugs Are Cheaper When Prescribed by Physicians that are Not Dermatologists

If you’re desperate to get rid of eczema but you’re on a budget, you don’t want to see a dermatologist. According to a new study from The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, brand name drugs are prescribed nearly three times more often by specialists than primary doctors.

The researchers found that brand-name topical immunomodulators (TI) cost on average $174.02 more than a 30-day supply of the generic version and add up to about $27 more in out-of-pocket expenses for a patient. The team at Ohio State evaluated prescription drug profiles of individuals 65-years and older from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services from 2008 and 2010. They found that the out-of-pocket price for a 30-day prescription from a dermatologist was $13-14 higher than one from a family medicine physician or internal medicine doctor, and $23 higher when prescribed by a psychiatrist or neurologist.

Taking into account inflation, the total cost of all TI in 2008 was $232 million and $252 million in 2010. Overall, dermatologists prescribe $30 million to $32 million a year in prescription drugs, and by the same token, family medicine doctors and internal medicine physicians prescribe $25 million to $27 million annually. This means that patients can save around 11 percent on prescription drug rates if they consult family and internal medicine doctors.

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