This controversial tactic is gaining steam as a proven way to curb health costs — but it’s certainly not for everybody.
The tactic is pill sharing — when employees on the same medication share pills (taking smaller doses, half a pill, etc.) with one another.
Pharmaceutical experts warn companies not to encourage pill sharing among employees unless the medication meets the following four criteria:
- The meds must be in tablet form — not capsule form.
- The pills cannot be a sustained-release formula intended to be absorbed at various levels, because splitting these pills could hurt the effectiveness of the medication over time.
- The medication must have a wide-ranging performance range — a little more and/or little less of the recommended dosage won’t affect the drug’s integrity.
- There should be flat pricing that’s independent of dosage of the medication. For example, a month’s supply of Lipitor with a dosage of 40 mg costs the same as the month’s supply at 20 mg. So, if two employees split a 40 mg Lipitor pill on a daily basis, it decreases the cost by one-half.