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Patients Join to Fight Major Cuts in Prescription Coverage Says Patients and Physicians for Rx Access
Date:7/14/2014

ubstantial cuts taking effect this month. The cutbacks will end prescription coverage for 750,000 to 1 million patients through Express Scripts alone.

Compounded medicines allow physicians to tailor treatment to the unique needs of individual patients. Compounds are used to avoid allergic reactions to gluten and dyes found in some mass-produced medications, for hormone replacement therapies, and for other patients with specific needs. Importantly, physicians are increasingly prescribing compounded medications for pain management, in part as a response to the Food and Drug Administration's 2012 mandate to seek alternatives to addictive opioid narcotics.

"Compounded medications are a critical tool for physicians.  We prescribe compounded medications because we see these medications work for our patients; in many cases, we turn to compounded medications after trying many options," said Dr. Todd B. Edmiston of Fairhope, Alabama. "As an orthopedic surgeon, I see many of my patients struggle with pain management. Multiple studies show compounded medicines can be highly effective for many patients, particularly those with localized and persistent pain. Compounded medications may work when prescription narcotics are not effective or not recommended. Compounds also allow patients to reduce or avoid use of oral narcotics that affect the patient's entire system and contribute to the epidemic of opioid abuse in this country."

The coalition disputes claims by Express Scripts and others that the cost and effectiveness of compounded medicines justify the cutbacks, even as physicians are increasing the use of the medications.

"The insurers' arguments are disingenuous and misleading," McEniry said. "Doctors are prescribing more compounded medications because they work and address the unique needs of individual patients. As for cost, companies like Express Scripts have mechanisms to control cost
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SOURCE Patients and Physicians for Rx Access
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