Federal Bill Introduced to Limit Co-Pays for Specialty Drugs

The Lupus Research Institute and our National Coalition were on the Hill this week asking legislators to support many issues affecting lupus treatment, including Patients’ Access to Treatments Act (PATA) (HR-1600). 

Please use the automatic tool on our LRI Legislative Action Center to urge your representatives in the House to cosponsor PATA to ensure that people with lupus can benefit from the treatments researchers have worked so hard to deliver. 

This important bipartisan legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives March 25, by Reps. David B. McKinley (R-WV)(right) and Lois Capps (D-CA) (center) to limit cost-sharing requirements for specialty tier medications and make innovative and necessary medications more accessible by reducing excessive out-of-pocket expenses.  

An alarming trend in today’s health insurance market is the practice of moving more expensive drugs onto specialty tiers that utilize high patient cost-sharing methods. The patient costs for drugs in specialty tiers can reach into the thousands of dollars a month, placing medically-necessary treatments out of reach of average insured Americans. For many patients, this leads to failure to adhere to a treatment plan, which can lead to worsening disease, increased rates of disability, and rising health care costs.

Pictured at the press conference announcing the new Bill are Representatives Capps and McKinley with a young lupus patient Alexis Gutshall who had regained her quality of life when Benlysta® was approved only to lose it when increasingly expensive co-payments made continued treatment no longer possible.

And while you’re taking action on behalf of the 1.5 million Americans with lupus, use the LRI Legislative Action Center to ask Congress to support increased budget for medical research and for national programs to include the patient perspective in the entire drug development and approval process.