Copay Accumulator Adjustment Programs Driving Patients to Phototherapy and Other Alternatives to Prescription Drugs, Reports National Biological Corporation
Many patients rely on copay cards and coupons from pharmaceutical companies to manage the out of pocket cost of expensive prescription drugs.
Until recently, these manufacturer subsidies often counted towards patients' deductible limits. Now, through the use of copay accumulator adjustment programs (CAAPs), many insurance plans no longer count manufacturer subsidies toward deductible limits, causing patients with high deductibles to take a financial hit.
A publication from the American Academy of Dermatology uses the example of a patient with a $6,000 deductible and $8,000 copay card. The patient's out of pocket drug costs increase from $2,500 annually to $8,500 annually, a $6,000 increase.
To manage rising out of pocket costs, patients are turning to alternatives to prescription drugs.
National Biological Corporation in Beachwood, OH manufactures home phototherapy equipment to treat psoriasis, vitiligo and other skin conditions. Their products are specialty lights that require a prescription and are cleared by the FDA. Patients shine them on their skin to manage and prevent the symptoms of skin disease. Treatment regimens are typically limited to ten or fewer minutes of exposure three times per week.
"Patients are turning to us because our devices are as effective or more effective than competing biologic drugs like Otezla®, but cost less than one year of out of pocket costs for those drugs. And they last years," said Haley White, Chief Commercial Officer for National Biological Corporation. "Many insurers cover the full cost of our devices."
John, a psoriasis patient whose last name is excluded to protect his privacy, shared, "[When] the first biologics appeared,… they seemed like a miracle treatment. One or two shots a month… no more dry, red skin? I readily volunteered for a long-term trial, then another, then a third. But then I didn't have an extra monthly mortgage payment to cover the outrageous cost... I've been using my [phototherapy unit] now for four months and am very pleased."
National Biological Corporation is a leading manufacturer of home phototherapy equipment and phototherapy systems for doctors' offices and clinics. Phototherapy is effective for treating psoriasis, vitiligo and other skin conditions.