Patients with chronic conditions such as arthritis, hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes, sickle cell disease, depression, psoriasis, cancer and COPD/asthma are affected by these practices, because they’re delayed in getting the treatment that their doctor believes will work best.
Patients’ support systems can also be severely impacted by the enormous financial burden of multiple medications, as well as the emotional burden of seeing their loved ones suffer through ineffective treatment.
Click here to read an important op-ed on step-therapy's impact on patients' health. Kathleen Arntsen of The Lupus and Allied Diseases Association details her experience of fighting to get lupus medications approved by the FDA, only to have step-therapy policies prevent patients from getting access to a medicine that could have helped treat the symptoms of a serious health issue.
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Doctor’s offices are harmed as well. When a prescribed drug is denied, physicians must appeal to the insurance company, often multiple times over days or even weeks, wasting valuable time that could be allocated to patient care.