As 2017 draws to a close, let’s take a look back at the highlights in patient access this year.
1. Breakthrough cardiovascular medicine eludes patients.
Game-changing PCSK9 inhibitors can lower LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol. But health plans rejected prescriptions for them at alarming rates—with devastating effects for patients.
2. Non-medical switching sends patients and doctors spinning.
Cost-driven formulary switches mean the new year could bring unhappy surprises for patients who depend upon a stable medicine regimen. And as patients struggle, health plans may discover that non-medical switching actually increases medical costs.
3. Headache community rallies for heightened awareness.
The patient community brought a unified voice to the issues of stigma, impact and treatment for migraine and headache disorders. But will a forthcoming ICER cost-effectiveness report complicate access to long-awaited treatments?
4. Hepatitis C plagues new patient population.
While Medicaid continued to shirk its duty to existing hepatitis C patients, the disease took hold in a new patient population: pregnant women and infants.
5. America’s opioid epidemic magnifies need for balanced pain treatment.
Now officially a public health emergency, the opioid crisis demanded that policymakers improve access to multimodal pain treatment.
6. FDA guidance sparks dialogue on interchangeability.
The Food and Drug Administration settled on distinct names for biological medicines and offered long-awaited draft guidance on a pressing question: Which biosimilars will be considered interchangeable?
7. Cost cutting jeopardizes treatment access for movement disorder patients.
Health plan coverage design continued to limit access to treatment for those with movement disorders. Meanwhile, economic analysis from the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review cast a shadow on the availability of an innovative treatment for tardive dyskinesia.
Rejoin the Institute for Patient Access blog on January 4 to follow these – and emerging – patient access issues in 2018. Happy holidays!