David R. Stukus, MD, FACAAI, of Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and a board member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology, speaks on the difficulties of gaining coverage for newer biologic therapies in the treatment of atopic dermatitis.
Since non-severe cases of atopic dermatitis are not typically associated with hospitalization, creative strategies are warranted to show how emerging biologic therapies can improve treatment outcomes and lead to substantial cost savings in seeking reimbursement, said David R. Stukus, MD, FACAAI, of Nationwide Children's Hospital and The Ohio State University College of Medicine, and a board member of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.
If these newer treatments for atopic dermatitis are beneficial, are you concerned about access and affordability, in particular for patients with Medicaid coverage?
Always, yes. So, we need to figure all this out, and that's going to come along with the process and with time. We have some wonderful education for the use of these biologic agents in the world of asthma and we know that insurance companies are often much more likely to reimburse it and pay it for patients who have severe disease and recurrent hospitalization.
So, if we can demonstrate that we're going to save them money in the long run, that's generally the best way to sort of get better coverage. It may be a bit of a tougher sell when it comes to atopic dermatitis. In general, those patients don't tie up hospital beds or ER [emergency room] visits or things like that. We’re going to have to get creative in some regards, but I'm hopeful that these will be covered.