Step Therapy in Rheumatology is Most Common in Southern States, ACR Survey Shows

September 18, 2019
Valerie DeBenedette

Valerie DeBenedette is managing editor of Drug Topics.

ACR has released the results of a new patient survey that shows one in four patients live with rheumatic disease and although most have health insurance, they still have substantial out of pocket costs. The survey shows that many patents have difficulty getting prescribed medications due to step therapy, a controversial health insurance program that requires patients to use the most cost-effective drug therapy instead of the therapy recommended by their physician.

The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) has released the results of a new patient survey that shows one in four patients live with rheumatic disease and although most have health insurance, they still have substantial out of pocket costs.The survey, done in concert with its Simple Tasks public awareness campaign, shows that many patents have difficulty getting prescribed medications due to step therapy, a controversial health insurance program that requires patients to use the most cost-effective drug therapy instead of the therapy recommended by their physician.The survey, which included 1,517 patients, was conducted over two days in June. The results were released this month as part of Rheumatic Disease Awareness Month.“These findings make clear that Americans living with rheumatic disease–regardless of age, gender or income level–struggle to find affordable care," said Paula Marchetta, M.D., MBA, in a press release issued by ACR. Dr. Marchetta is president of ACR. “To address these challenges, it is crucial for patients, clinicians and policymakers to work together to improve access to rheumatology care.”REFERENCE:  “2019 Rheumatic Disease Patient Survey 2019,” American College of Rheumatology and SimpleTasks. September 2019.