National Psoriasis Foundation
Advertisement

Fight the rising cost of treatments

By Jaime Moy

As an adult with psoriatic arthritis and as a mother with a child who has juvenile psoriatic arthritis, our family will see quite a financial burden in the near future trying to afford our special medication, Humira.

Many insurance plans have instituted a tiered payment system for medications. Often labeled "generic," "preferred," and "non-preferred," these tiers have a set cost-sharing amount. But there is also a fourth tier, called "specialty tiers," that requires patients to share a significant amount of the cost of expensive medications.

Biologic medications, including those used to treat psoriasis and arthritis, are increasingly found in this fourth tier. This results in high out-of-pocket costs that can reach into the thousands just for one medication for one month.

In a few short months, I will be faced with this reality myself. My current copay with prescription coverage will increase to approximately $300 per month for Humira. Eight years ago, the copay was a fixed rate of $60. Because this medication has allowed me to lead a more normal life and have significantly less pain, fatigue, swelling in my joints and has been the only medication found to reduce my red, itchy, painful psoriasis plaques, it is important that I continue this medication. Discontinuing this medication will also likely increase joint damage that cannot be reversed.

If this practice of specialty tiered copays continues, I will be forced to choose between my health and paying all of our family bills. And in less than four years, this copay will double each month. The reason is because my son, who has juvenile psoriatic arthritis and is also on Humira, will no longer be eligible for Michigan's Children Special Health Care, a part of Medicaid that helps families cope with medical costs for children with chronic diseases. He will be 18 years old and too old to participate in this plan.

There are no generic alternatives to biologics at this time, but there is legislation in Congress that will help families afford their medications and not have to choose between good health and paying the bills. We urge all of our state representatives in Washington D.C. to support HR 460, The Patients' Access to Treatment Act.

Advertisement


Did you enjoy this article? Want to read more?

Check out more from Psoriasis Advance »

Advertisement

 

Copyright © 1996-2013 National Psoriasis Foundation/USA

Any duplication, rebroadcast, republication or other use of content appearing on this website is prohibited without written permission of National Psoriasis Foundation. National Psoriasis Foundation does not endorse or accept any responsibility for the content of external websites.

National Psoriasis Foundation | 6600 SW 92nd Ave., Suite 300, Portland, OR 97223
getinfo@psoraisis.org | www.psoriasis.org

National Psoriasis FoundationNational Psoriasis Foundation Our Mission: To drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected.

CONTACT US

getinfo@psoriasis.org
800-723-9166

National Office:
6600 SW 92nd Ave., Ste. 300
Portland, OR 97223


Washington D.C. Office:
1800 Diagonal Rd., Ste. 360
Alexandria, VA 22314


Site Feedback »

Copyright © 1996-2014 National Psoriasis Foundation/USA

Any duplication, rebroadcast, republication or other use of content appearing on this website is prohibited without written permission of National Psoriasis Foundation.

The National Psoriasis Foundation does not endorse or accept any responsibility for the content of external websites.

The National Psoriasis Foundation does not endorse any specific treatments or medications for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.

Member of Community Health Charities National Health CouncilFour Star Charity Navigator Rating