Dr Gary Owens: Payers Need to Be Doing More for Patients With PAH


Gary Owens, MD, president of Gary Owens Associates, addresses how payers can improve outcomes for persons who have pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH).

Gary Owens, MD, president of Gary Owens Associates, talks next steps payers can take to improve outcomes among persons living with pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH), including stepping up education effort and improving medication access.


What can payers do to make progress against PAH?

This is a disease that is often misunderstood, underrecognized, and underdiagnosed. Hence, that 2- to 3-year journey from symptom onset. So I think payers can hopefully play a role here, too, by helping educate the community. Now, the problem is, trying to get this message across to primary care physicians who are very, very busy with many other things, including the COVID-19 pandemic.

It’s easily possible for a disease that affects 5 to 10 per 1 million to get lost in the shuffle. But I think what it really does say, when these patients are identified by payers, getting case managers involved, and getting those case managers to coordinate that team approach I talked about, as well as making sure that patients have access to the proper pharmaceutical care, is what payers could and should be doing. Not only now but going forward.