WASHINGTON, D.C. & SACRAMENTO, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Patients Rising, a non-profit patient advocacy organization, today announced plans for a public forum and live webcast to address the barriers between patients and the effective treatments they need, when they need them. Right Patient, Right Treatment, Right Now brings together patients, advocates and medical professionals, along with representatives from the California State Assembly and a healthcare economist to separate truth from rhetoric and find real-world solutions to real-world problems.
The meeting, the first in a series of events planned across the country, will take place in Sacramento Tuesday, April 5, 2016 from 11:30 AM to 1:00 PM (PDT), and is timed to coincide with National Public Health Week. Details of the meeting and webcast are available here: patientsrising.org/sacramento2016
“We all need to work together to help patients gain access to the treatments they need – and it can be done without busting budgets,” said Patients Rising Policy Director Jonathan Wilcox who will moderate the program. “Something has gone terribly wrong in our national concept of investing in patients and easing their access to treatments they need to live and survive. There’s a troubling trend now creating barriers between patients, their doctors and their medicines, and we think it has to stop.”
According to Stacey L. Worthy, Director of Public Policy for the Alliance for the Adoption of Innovations in Medicine, who will speak at the meeting: “Practices such as ‘Step-Therapy,’ requiring patients to take an older drug first just to save money, actually place a wall between doctor and patient. This means 20 percent of patients don’t ever get the treatment they were actually prescribed.”
Patients Rising is especially concerned about the trend of so-called “value-frameworks,” including the latest from The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) that opens for comment April 7th. The framework will rank medications for a blood cancer called multiple myeloma even though these same medications have resulted in great strides toward making this incurable cancer a chronic, manageable disease. Patients Rising believes attempting to first rank treatments for a deadly cancer by price is the “original sin” of poor public policy.
Patients Rising points out that all sides must seek to put cost in context: Hospitals and clinics may double the price they charge patients for pharmaceuticals; pharmaceutical benefits managers may negotiate discounts that are never passed on to the patients; and co-pays, the amount patients pay out of their own pockets, is determined by their insurance company. All of these issues have to be taken into consideration to help patients get “the right treatment, right now.”
“Patient access to essential treatments must never be pushed aside,” says Terry Wilcox, Executive Director of Patients Rising. “We welcome any good faith effort to measure the value of medical tests and treatments based on efficacy, potential and need. That’s why we’re holding this meeting: to search for solutions that begin and end with the patient in mind. Anything less is unacceptable.”