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The Lupus Foundation of America Applauds New Legislation that Caps Out-of-Pocket Drug Costs
Date:8/7/2009

Provides Protection for People with Lupus and other Chronic Diseases

WASHINGTON, Aug. 7 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Lupus Foundation of America (LFA) President and Chief Executive Officer, Sandra C. Raymond, issued the following statement regarding S.1630 "The Affordable Access to Prescription Medications Act of 2009" introduced on Thursday, August 6, 2009 by Senator John (Jay) D. Rockefeller IV (D-WV).

"We support and applaud Senator Rockefeller for this important bill which will provide all Americans with vastly improved access to life-saving medications. The proposed legislation imposes a $200 cap on the amount a person could be charged for any one prescription, and a $500 cap on the total amount an individual could be charged for all medications during any given month. This is critical to controlling costs for people with lupus, as a past survey has shown that more than 60 percent of patients take five or more medications.

"It has been 50 years since the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a medication for lupus. There are several potential new treatments in the near-term pipeline that may provide a better quality of life for people with lupus. But these anticipated new treatments will mean nothing if people with lupus are not able to access them because they are cost-prohibitive. For example, some people with multiple sclerosis, another autoimmune disorder, may pay out-of-pocket in excess of $800 a month for access to new medications.

"Studies have also shown that patients will avoid filling prescriptions, skip doses, or cut pills in half because of costs. Stopping medication can lead to greater disease severity, and for people with lupus, could result in organ failure. In addition, for people with chronic conditions it can often result in hospitalization leading to greater overall health care costs for both patients and socie
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SOURCE Lupus Foundation of America
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