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Legislation May Improve Patient Access to Vital Medications
Date:3/20/2012

rs a month for a single medication. These practices are placing necessary treatments out of reach of insured Americans with chronic disease and contributing to disability and rising healthcare costs.

"High patient cost-sharing compromises access to needed medications, such as biologic therapies that have proved to reduce disability and maintain function for certain inflammatory forms of arthritis," says President and CEO of the Arthritis Foundation Dr. John H. Klippel.  While arguably the most significant treatment advancement of this era for arthritis, the costs for these medications can exceed $20,000 annually, making the drug unaffordable.  As a result, people tend to delay or stop taking medications, which in turn, costs our economy millions of dollars each year in additional health care costs and lost wages."

"Millions of Americans--too many--currently suffer from chronic and disabling diseases and are unable to afford critical treatments to relieve their pain and prolong their lives," says Rep. McKinley. "Over 300,000 children nationwide suffer from juvenile arthritis alone. The Patients' Access to Treatments Act of 2012 will allow access for millions of insured Americans to these critical treatments that can save their lives, help them function in daily life, or prevent them from becoming totally disabled." 

The Arthritis Foundation and the American College of Rheumatology have partnered together representing both patients and health care providers to raise awareness of the detrimental impacts of excessive cost-sharing practices that have become a barrier to improved health for people with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, psoriasis and other chronic conditions that are impacted by these practices. The affected class of medications, known as biologic drugs, is used to prevent joint destruction and disability associated with certain forms of inflammatory arthritis. Similar medications are used to treat conditions
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SOURCE Arthritis Foundation
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