Have You Lost Your Mind?

My insurance company called me to discuss my coverage for a biologic medication that I am on for my psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. They said my deductible would be $3,000 per year and the medication would be $76,000 per year. Are you serious?

Remember last year when that pharmaceutical company raised the price of a pill from $13.50 to $750. What makes that story any different than what the insurance companies are doing to us in this situation?

I was just thinking the other day, they sure are charging a lot of money for something that most people used to call a rash. Can you even imagine what the cost is for lost work hours associated with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis? I don’t want to think about it.

The financial burden of psoriasis

Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that affects about 3 percent of the population. It's a chronic disease, and there's no medication that cures it. So if there is no cure, why are we paying so much to be treated? My answer would be because we want and need a better quality of life. I know I don’t want to be walking around all the time with cracked skin that is bleeding and every step I take I am shedding all over the place. I want to be able to walk without pain and not cry in my sleep.

We spend a lot of money on healthcare and the price is rising every day. Do we have any kind of regulations against raising prices on these drugs in this country?

The biologics are a fairly new drug, so there is no generic brand at this time. We know that this disease is associated with diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, depression and high cholesterol. This is more money we have to pay out of our pockets for medications. How are we going to survive?

I know that some people I have spoken to have skipped doctor appointments, not taking their treatments daily, skipping procedures and not getting their prescriptions fill because of the high cost of the drugs. This is just not right.

I know that over the years more people have insurance, but it’s the deductibles and out of pocket expense that is hurting people.

What can we do if we can't afford medication?

But what about the people who can’t afford these drugs? Is this where our country is at? I do have a couple of suggestions that might help someone in need. Find out about clinical trials. I have been on several; some worked and some don’t. You might also contact the company that manufactures the drug to help with the co-pays. Needymeds.org and panfoundation.org., are ones that come to mind and of course, there are others. You can ask your doctor for samples if you used creams.

If the price is this much now, can you imagine in 5 years what it will cost? No one will be able to afford these medications.

A lot of us think we don’t qualify for patient assistance when we have a job. Call and get more information before you make that decision.

What happens when the biologic stops working? Do we keep trying different drugs for higher prices? Or do we just give up and suffer the consequences?

This really concerns me as a patient because what does the future look like for us with the pharmaceutical companies in control of us? This not only effects people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis but what about all the other health care issues we have to deal with in this country? Who helps them? You tell me.

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