Specialty Tier Coalition of Georgia Advocacy: Help us ensure access to prescription medications

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Specialty Tier Coalition of Georgia Advocacy: Help us ensure access to prescription medications

The Specialty Tier Coalition of Georgia (STCGA) has developed the Consumer Prescription Transparency Act to ensure Georgians who need medication to stay healthy have reasonable access to their medications that are or will be moved from the traditional three-tiered formulary onto a specialty tier (see definition of a specialty tier drug below). Learn more about this bill at RxinReachGA.org.

The bill is currently reviewed by Georgia Representative Sharon Cooper, who continues to chair the Health and Human Services committee and serves as a member of the Rules, Judiciary Non-Civil, and Regulated Industries committees. Representative Cooper co-sponsored a Biosimilar Bill, along with Senator Dean Burke, last session to help patients gain better access to biosimilar drugs as they become available. She is well known as a supporter of improving the health of Georgians calling upon her nursing experience to guide her decisions.

Now is the time for the STCGA to collect the best compendium of patient/consumer stories to present for legislative testimony and press/media opportunities.

As a member of STCGA Rx in Reach GA project, ARxC is seeking stories from patients who are taking a specialty drug and who are financially and/or medically burdened feeling their health future threatened by the high out of pocket costs of their drugs.

If you or someone you know is struggling with the high out of pocket costs of specialty tier medications please consider sharing your story with us at http://www.rxinreachga.org/patient-stories/ or by contacting ARxC Executive Director and STCGA Chair, Dorothy Leone-Glasser, at dlg@arxc.org.

Thank you for your commitment to help in moving this bill forward.

Advocates for Responsible Care (ARxC)

www.advocatesforresponsiblecare.org

 

 

 

Rx in Reach Georgia

www.rxinreachga.org

 

 

 

What is a Specialty Drug? Typically, these are high-cost prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic conditions like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and multiple sclerosis.

Specialty drugs often require special handling (like refrigeration during shipping) and administration (such as injection or infusion). Patients using a specialty drug often must be monitored closely to determine if the therapy is working and to watch for side effects.

Specialty drugs are very expensive – $1,000 or more per month – and spending on them is growing 15 to 20 percent a year. Many prescription drug plans that cover specialty drugs have a separate “tier” that specifies how much an individual has to pay for specialty drugs. Individuals may be required to pay a percentage of the drug cost or a high flat-dollar copay.

Many drugs manufacturers offer patient assistance programs to help people with and without insurance get access to specialty drugs. However, the financial burden of the monthly cost of these life-saving drugs falls on the consumer/patient.