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Daniel J. Klein Outlines Patient Routes to Accessing Costly Medications

According to Daniel J. Klein, president and CEO of the Patient Access Network Foundation, patients now have an easier time accessing the high-cost treatments they need, thanks to certain policies and programs. Klein also anticipates that a recently-passed law will bring down the prices of some prescription drugs.


According to Daniel J. Klein, president and CEO of the Patient Access Network (PAN) Foundation, patients now have an easier time accessing the high-cost treatments they need, thanks to certain policies and programs. Klein also anticipates that a recently-passed law will bring down the prices of some prescription drugs.

Transcript (slightly modified)

What are the major ways patients can get access to costly medications?

Today, most patients do have some form of health insurance, which is great. Usually, there’s coverage available for even high-cost medications through the various health insurance plans that patient have. Where it becomes challenging is when the health insurance plan may have a high deductible, or co-pay, or co-insurance, and in that case, some patients need additional assistance.

Many patients rely on assistance from the drug manufacturer in the form of a coupon or a co-pay card. Then, patients particularly in Medicare and other federal insurance programs may need to come to a charitable assistance program, like the PAN Foundation. But, by and large, as a result of the Affordable Care Act and the expansion of Medicaid, most people do have access to the treatment that they need.

What impact do you expect the 21st Century Cures Act to have on improving access to medications?

Clearly, the process for approving generic drugs has been slower than most people would like. The high cost of some drugs may be reduced through competition through generics, so I think that there’s every reason to hope that the 21st Century Cures Act will improve the affordability, at least, of some medications, and in that way improve access.

 
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