Providing healthcare workers with cost information about the medications they prescribe can influence their decisions, particularly when that information is provided at the very moment they are faced with a prescribing decision. The current study aimed to analyse the impact of nudges that presented cost information to prescribers through their organisation's electronic prescribing system. The nudges were co-created by the research team (composed of behavioural scientists) and the lead hospital pharmacist. One nudge provided simple cost information (percentage difference between two brands of Mesalazine – Asacol and Octasa). The second nudge provided the potential annual cost-saving that could result if the cheaper medication was selected across the organisation. While the statistical analyses revealed that these nudges were not effective, several administrative barriers were overcome, which may inform future research. For example, presenting aggregated cost information to the prescribers is possible even when the actual cost of medicine is confidential and can not be displaced. In addition, future research could reveal more behavioural factors that facilitate medication optimisation.
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