The Copay Card Conundrum: Examining the Usage, Regulation, and Management of Direct-to-Consumer Funding Programs

ACPE UAN #:  0233-0000-19-034-H04-P

Release Date:  March 27, 2019

Expiration Date:   March 27, 2022

Activity Type:    Knowledge-based

Contact Hours:  1.25 

Activity Fee:  Member:   Free        Non-Member: $30

Target Audience: Pharmacists who practice in managed care settings.

Activity Description

Drug manufacturer copay cards and coupons have been facing increasing criticism and scrutiny by legislators at the federal and state level, as well as by health plan payers, pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and employer groups. Critics contend that these programs undermine formularies and cost-control measures by encouraging the use of more expensive brand name drugs, thereby increasing overall pharmacy expenditures. The counterargument maintains that coupons and copay cards make drugs more affordable for patients, increases access to needed medications and thereby increases adherence to therapy and improves overall health outcomes. 

This session aims to explore this controversial issue by providing an overview of copay card programs as well as payer strategies to manage the usage and costs associated with these programs. Legislative and regulatory considerations will also be discussed. 

Learning Objectives:

At the completion of this activity, participants should be able to:

  1. Review federal and state regulations regarding the use of copay coupon cards.
  2. Discuss strategies that health plans and PBMs have deployed to manage the rising use of copay cards/direct-to-consumer funding.
  3. Identify the impact copay cards may have on the patient.

Schedule of Educational Activity

This activity consists of an audio recording, pre-test assessment questions (not required to pass or continue), post-test questions (required to pass with a score of 70% or higher) and a specific activity evaluation. 

The Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy (AMCP) is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education as a provider of continuing pharmacy education.

As an accredited provider, AMCP strictly adheres to the ACPE Standards for Commercial Support and other relevant guidelines and standards to ensure the independence of continuing pharmacy education (CPE) activities.  It is AMCP’s intent that all CPE activities be independent, objective, balanced, evidence-based and free of any commercial bias.

CPE Requirements:   

Participants should claim continuing pharmacy education (CPE) credit for this home study activity only if they have not claimed credit for the live activity presented at AMCP Annual Meeting 2019.

CPE credit will be processed through the AMCP Learn portal and reported directly to CPE Monitor.  Please allow 72 hours for processing and posting in your NABP account.

 To receive credit for an online activity you must:

  • Review the full content of the activity.
  • Successfully complete the post-test (required to pass with a score of 70% or higher, it may be taken a maximum of three times).
  • Complete a specific activity evaluation.


Ami Gopalan, PharmD, MBA | Vice President, Clinical and Strategic Services | Precision for Value | Chicago, Illinois.

System Technical Requirements/Viewing Requirements: System Requirements Courses and learning activities are delivered via your Web browser and Acrobat PDF. For all activities, you should have a basic comfort level using a computer and navigating websites.  View the minimum technical and system requirements for continuing education online learning activities.

Credit Information

Activity Number Credit Amount Accreditation Period
ACPE UAN #0233-0000-19-034-H04-P 1.25 Contact Hours March 27, 2019 - March 27, 2022