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  1. Hepatitis C patients keep waiting…and waiting…and waiting.

Decreasing prices for treatment, the threat of legal action and input from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid drove some health plans to reduce barriers to hepatitis C cures in 2016. But for many patients, the wait continues.

Learn more:
VIDEO: Rationing Hepatitis C Cures is Costing Patients
Access to Hepatitis C Cures for Medicaid Patients

  1. Policy struggles to strike a balance on opioids.

Several new solutions took shape for ending America’s opioid abuse crisis. But not all of them acknowledged a key component – access to multifaceted, personalized care.

Learn more:
VIDEO: Finding an Opioid Abuse Solution that Works
VIDEO: Understanding Balanced Pain Management

  1. FDA holds final guidance for yet another year.

The Food and Drug Administration approved three new biosimilars in 2016, but offered no final word on guidance for naming and labeling these medications.

Learn more:
BLOG: Physicians Align on Meaningful Biosimilar Suffixes
BLOG: Global Poster Presentations Convey Need for Distinct Biosimilar Names

  1. High co-pays block care.

High co-pays interfered with consistent treatment for respiratory conditions such as asthma and COPD, leaving patients to face the consequences.

Learn more:
VIDEO: Access to Asthma Medications
INFOGRAPHIC: Why High Co-Pays Hurt COPD Patients

  1. Breakthrough cholesterol drugs raise hopes (and hurdles).

Innovative treatments demonstrated jaw-dropping improvements for patients with extremely high cholesterol. Now patients and physicians must wade through the prior authorization process required by many health plans.

Learn more:
Video: Accessing Breakthrough Cholesterol Treatment
Improving Access to Cardiovascular Care

  1. Oncology shoots for the moon.

Vice President Biden’s Cancer Moonshot set high goals for cancer research and treatment. Realizing the program’s potential will require clearing barriers for patients.

Learn more:
VIDEO: Access to Immuno-Oncology Therapies
BLOG: Launching “Cancer Moonshot” Demands Coverage, Regulatory Progress

  1. #DontSwitchMe becomes patients’ global battle cry.

Health plans’ formulary changes reduced patients’ ability to access necessary medications, raising concerns over what’s now dubbed “non-medical switching.” Meanwhile, Norwegian research on biosimilar switching prompted international dialogue about safety, cost and physician-directed care.

Learn more:
VIDEO: Understanding Non-Medical Switching
Cost-Motivated Treatment Changes: Implications for Non-Medical Switching

  1. Viral season takes its toll on unprotected preemies. 

Without health plan coverage for preventive treatment against respiratory syncytial virus, preterm infants required hospitalization, ICU care and mechanical ventilation to survive.

Learn more:
VIDEO: The Gap Baby
Fast Facts: Respiratory Syncytial Virus

Rejoin the Institute for Patient Access blog on January 5 to follow these – and emerging – patient access issues in 2017. Happy holidays!

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