National Psoriasis Foundation backs bill to lower treatment costs

Legislation would lower out-of-pocket drug costs for Americans with chronic diseases

PORTLAND, Ore. (March 26, 2015)—Americans with chronic diseases like psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis may be better able to afford vital medication to effectively manage their conditions, thanks to bipartisan legislation—the Patients' Access to Treatments Act (PATA)—introduced in Congress yesterday.

The legislation, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Reps. David McKinley (R-WV) and Lois Capps (D-CA), aims to lower out-of-pocket costs for systemic and biologic drugs, which are used to treat chronic and disabling diseases like psoriatic disease, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, and cancers like leukemia and lymphoma. These drugs are often placed on "specialty tiers," where a portion of the total cost of the drug is passed on to patients, called a coinsurance.

Learn more about PATA and its impact on people with psoriatic disease »

Specialty drugs for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis cost millions of Americans upwards of $1,500 to $5,000 per month in out-of-pocket costs. According to a 2015 study examining the economic burden of psoriasis, total direct costs of the disease—such as medical expenses from doctor's appointments and treatments-can cost upwards of $8,000 per person annually.

PATA will improve treatment adherence and health outcomes for chronic diseases by making medically necessary medication more accessible. In a recent National Psoriasis Foundation survey, more than 22 percent of respondents said cost was a barrier to accessing the treatments they need to manage their disease and avoid health complications.

"Psoriasis is a painful, chronic, noncontagious autoimmune disease without a cure, costing our society up to $135 billion annually. Up to 30 percent of people with psoriasis develop psoriatic arthritis," said Randy Beranek, National Psoriasis Foundation president and CEO. "Access to safe and effective treatments is the number one challenge for our community. PATA will lower out-of-pocket costs on needed medications so millions with psoriatic disease can better manage their condition."

As part of the Coalition for Accessible Treatments—a partnership of 32 patient and provider organizations that created the PATA legislation—the National Psoriasis Foundation fights for fair and affordable access to treatments for millions of Americans with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. These are serious, systemic autoimmune diseases with a profound physical, social, psychological and financial burden.

Psoriasis, the most common autoimmune disease in the country, increases people's risk for heart disease, heart attack, stroke and early death. Treatment with systemic and biologic drugs can reduce a person's risk for these comorbidities. Additionally, treating psoriatic arthritis early and effectively can prevent irreversible joint damage.

Learn more about the Patients' Access to Treatments Act and urge your member of Congress to support this legislation »


About the National Psoriasis Foundation

Serving its community through more than 50 years of patient support, advocacy, research funding, and education, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is the world’s leading nonprofit fighting for individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The NPF mission is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and dramatically improve the lives of more than 8 million Americans affected by this chronic immune-mediated disease. As part of that effort, NPF created its Patient Navigation Center to offer personalized assistance to everyone with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. To date, NPF has funded more than $21 million in research grants and fellowships that help drive discoveries that may lead to more and better treatments and ultimately a cure. Learn more at www.psoriasis.org.