Restricting Biologics for RA
We live in an amazing time when there are more treatments for rheumatoid arthritis than ever before. Biologics have had a profound impact on the lives of people with RA and on the field of rheumatology. These drugs are expensive, though, and it can be an obstacle to treatment. Another obstacle is developing. My new post for RAHealthCentral discusses the news that pharmacy benefit managers are attempting to restrict access to these drugs:
"There are ten Biologics currently available to treat rheumatoid arthritis (RA). That does not mean you have access to all of them.
Insurance companies are famous for the obstacles they place in the way of our access to expensive drugs. For instance, they often use fail-first policies. This means that a number of less expensive medications have to be tried with unsatisfactory results before they will approve a Biologic. We live in an era when rheumatologists treat RA early and aggressively to maximize the chances of remission. But this type of policy leaves us at risk for developing damage while we try medications that may not be what our doctors believe is the best option.
But it’s about to get worse."
Read the rest of the post on how access to RA treatments is being restricted.