CARY, N.C.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Biologics, Inc., a McKesson Specialty Health oncology pharmacy services company, secured more than $44 million in co-pay assistance in 2016 for commercial patients in need of oral chemotherapy drugs, easing the financial burden for these patients battling cancer. The Biologics’ Patient Access Services team also referred more than 38,000 unique patients to various free drug programs offered by manufactures, providing even more opportunities for assistance.
“Biologics is committed to supporting the holistic needs of cancer patients, including their clinical, financial and emotional aspects of care,” said Paula Bickley, vice president of Clinician Services for Biologics. “The stress and worry over financial concerns can negatively impact patients, complicating their healing journey. Our team’s ability to secure co-pay assistance funding allows financially challenged patients to access the life-saving therapy they need without having to manage the heavy financial burden of treatment entirely on their own.”
While today’s new cancer therapies are extremely promising, they are also very expensive. According to the American Society of Clinical Oncology, new FDA-approved cancer drugs cost an average of $10,000 per month, with some therapies as high as $30,000 a month. Even well-insured patients can end up paying a significant portion of drug costs through health insurance deductibles, co-payments and other out-of-pocket expenses. These high costs can restrict access to care for many patients, negatively impacting outcomes and creating severe financial strain, even leading to bankruptcy in some cases. Given the increasingly high cost of care, more than twenty percent of patients supported by Biologics request financial assistance to help support their treatment and meet cost of living expenses.
Biologics helps simplify the cancer care journey, becoming an advocate for patients. Patients are assigned a dedicated financial counselor who determines their eligibility for aid, educates them on available benefits, and helps them apply to assistance programs offered by charitable organizations and drug manufacturers. Counselors are very proactive, closely monitoring the patient’s out-of-pocket expenses and co-pay assistance balance during treatment so problems are resolved ahead of time. Biologics’ team also navigates the payer landscape on behalf of the patient, performing benefit investigations and prior authorization appeals, easing the administrative burden for patients so they can focus on wellness and their clinical treatment.
As part of Biologics’ holistic approach to supporting patients, all patients are assigned a dedicated pharmacist and nurse who work closely with the financial counselor to develop a care plan for the patient to help ensure his/her needs are met. This multidisciplinary team approach has proven very effective, as demonstrated by a recent third-party survey conducted by the National Business Research Institute that found 97 percent of patients had an overall exceptional experience with Biologics.
Biologics’ parent company, McKesson Specialty Health, also provides help to patients in need of financial aid through a Patient Assistance Support (PAS) program. As pioneers in patient assistance program administration, McKesson Specialty Health manages some of the industry’s largest, most notable programs to help patients navigate the financial aspects of their care plan and evaluate assistance options and insurance coverage. By working with manufacturers and community organizations, eligible patients gain access to free or reduced-cost products. Since November of 2006, PAS has obtained more than $417 million in financial assistance for patients from appeals won on denied drug claims, co-pay and drug assistance, not including additional funding secured by Biologics.
“A cancer diagnosis is a devastating, life-changing event, not only for the patient, but also their loved ones,” said Tamara Hart, vice president of Specialty Pharmacy Services for Biologics. “The rapidly escalating costs of cancer care can make the situation even worse, threatening access to care and distracting the patient from focusing on their own well-being. Our team of oncology care experts is committed to utilizing every available resource to help ease the financial burden and distress that often accompanies cancer care, enabling the patient to have the best experience possible while receiving the care they need.”
Biologics, Inc. is an oncology pharmacy services company that empowers healthcare providers, payers and biopharma to optimize cancer care for the best possible outcomes – clinical, financial and emotional. Unifying fragmented healthcare services, Biologics brings efficiency and humanity to oncology care management by focusing on the patient’s best interest as the surest path to managing cost and risk.
Biologics is part of McKesson Specialty Health, a division of McKesson Corporation empowering the community patient care delivery system by helping community practices advance the science, technology and quality of care. Through innovative clinical research, business and operational solutions, facilitated by integrated technology systems, we focus on improving the financial health of our customers so they may provide the best care to their patients. Our combined organization will help better support patients and expedite access to oncology therapies. For more information, visit www.mckessonspecialtyhealth.com and www.biologicsinc.com.