Many patients living with HIV or AIDS take special medications to treat their conditions, which are often very expensive. There has been an increase in demand for HIV and AIDS treatment and medication, for a number of reasons. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, “The epidemic is growing rapidly among minorities, who have historically experienced higher risk for poverty, lack of health insurance, comorbidity, and disenfranchisement from the health care system. The result is a growing number of people living with HIV disease who require public support.” Low-income patients diagnosed with HIV or AIDS often need […]
Category: Specialty Drugs
What Is A Specialty Pharmacy And How Can One Help Me?
By Brenda Hawkes, Patient Advocacy Manager, and Justine Dolorfino, Social Media Specialist & Communications at Diplomat Specialty Pharmacy If you have a prescription to treat a serious disease or condition such as HIV, psoriasis, or cancer, chances are that you get your medications through a specialty pharmacy. You may have wondered what the ‘specialty’ in the title means and why that makes a difference. We can help explain that here. What Is A Specialty Pharmacy? Specialty pharmacy is a branch of pharmacy care that helps people with special and often long-term needs. These people include those with conditions like […]
The Lowdown on Specialty Drugs II: Biosimilars and How to Get Your Insurance Company to Cover the Costs
Biosimilars are defined as “similar versions of an existing biological medicine by a different manufacturer.” Biosimilars may be used to treat difficult-to-manage conditions including rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, chronic pain, HIV and cancer, among other conditions. Because they are more complex and more difficult to manufacture than other pharmaceuticals, rigid compliance to regulations and quality control are crucial to avoid contamination and drug shortages. Their complexity also means that they are more expensive for the patient. A recent article by NBC News suggests that “the number of patients who could benefit from these more sophisticated therapies will only continue to […]
The Lowdown on Specialty Drugs
Healthcare costs continue to be a concern, despite efforts underway to reduce them through healthcare reform initiatives. One area, in particular, is worrying patients and physicians alike: specialty drugs or biologics. An article in Workforce Management reports that specialty drugs “make up about 17% of employers’ total drug costs, even though just 1% of the workforce takes them.” Reuters reports that “approximately 57 million Americans rely on specialty drugs,” with the average prescription costing $1,766.00 in 2011. “Specialty drugs are high-cost drugs used to treat complex or rare conditions, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, hepatitis C and hemophilia. The […]