Daily Health Headlines

Some Arthritis Meds Cost Seniors Thousands Annually

👤by HealthDay 0 comments 🕔Tuesday, April 21st, 2015

TUESDAY, April 21, 2015 (HealthDay News) -- Arthritis medications known as biologic disease-modifying drugs can cost Medicare patients more than $2,700 in co-payments a year, a new report finds.

Researchers say the tab is an immense burden on patients with disabling conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis, a chronic disorder that affects an estimated 1.3 million Americans.

Biologic anti-rheumatic medications -- which include drugs such as adalimumab (Humira), anakinra (Kineret) and etanercept (Enbrel) -- have allowed patients to gain better control of rheumatoid arthritis when taken early in the course of disease, the researchers explained. But some of the new drugs top $20,000 annually, according to the April 21 online report in the journal Arthritis & Rheumatology.

"Many patients face a growing and unacceptable financial burden for access to treatment," said study lead author Dr. Jinoos Yazdany of the division of rheumatology at the University of California, San Francisco.

"Rather than determining which drug is best for the patient, we find ourselves making treatment decisions based on whether patients can afford drugs," Yazdany said in a journal news release.

Patients on Medicare -- the publicly funded insurance program for the elderly -- must pay about one-third the total drug cost in the initial phase of coverage. Once they reach the "donut hole" coverage cap (usually early in the year), they must pay 45 percent of drug costs until they qualify for catastrophic coverage and pay much less, the researchers said.

Previous research has suggested that one in six patients lowers his or her medication level because of cost, the researchers added.

The study results are based on an analysis of the drugs allowed to be prescribed to patients in 2,737 plans under Medicare Part D.

"Insurance payment reforms have been suggested by the U.S. government, but are not widely implemented in the health care system," Yazdany said in the news release.

"Americans, especially those patients with chronic conditions such as [rheumatoid arthritis], may be better served by payment and drug coverage reforms that look to decrease rising out-of-pocket costs for patients while keeping total costs in check," she concluded.

-- Randy Dotinga

Article Credits / Source

HealthDay

HealthDay provides up to the minute breaking health news. Click here to view this full article from HealthDay.

SOURCE: Arthritis & Rheumatology, news release, April 21, 2015

View More Articles From HealthDay 🌎View Article Website

Sponsored Product

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

Lunar Sleep for $1.95

People who have trouble sleeping typically have low levels of melatonin, so melatonin supplements seem like a logical fix for insomnia. There is a high demand for sleep aids, especially in the U.S. The National Health Interview Survey done in 2002, and again in 2007, found 1.6 million US adults were using complementary and alternative sleep aids for insomnia. Lunar Sleep was a top choice. Use Promo Code: Sleep2014 and only pay $1.95 S&H.

Get Lunar Sleep for $1.95

More Arthritis Articles

Delays in Lupus Care Seen Among Minorities, Less Educated

Delays in Lupus Care Seen Among Minorities, Less Educated0

FRIDAY, Nov. 18, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- Delays in lupus treatment are more common among Americans who are black, Asian or are less educated, a new study finds. Lupus is a chronic autoimmune disease in which inflammation affects the skin, ...

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis May Increase Heart Risk

Having Rheumatoid Arthritis May Increase Heart Risk0

TUESDAY, Nov. 15, 2016 (HealthDay News) -- People with rheumatoid arthritis may have an increased risk for a heart attack, stroke and other heart disease-related problems, a new study suggests. Researchers examined data from 353 rheumatoid ...

Rheumatoid Factor (RF)

Rheumatoid Factor (RF)0

What Is Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA)? Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation of the joints. Autoimmune diseases are illnesses that occur when the body's tissues are mistakenly attacked by their own ...

Health Tip: Keep Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue in Check

Health Tip: Keep Psoriatic Arthritis Fatigue in Check0

(HealthDay News) -- Fatigue is a common problem for people with psoriatic arthritis. According to the National Psoriasis Foundation, some studies indicate that half of all psoriatic arthritis patients have moderate-to-severe fatigue. The ...

Osteoarthritis Symptoms

Osteoarthritis Symptoms0

Comment by William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR Common osteoarthritis symptoms and signs Symptoms of osteoarthritis vary greatly from patient to patient and they depend on the severity of cartilage loss and the joint(s) affected. Many people ...

View More Arthritis Articles

0 Comments

Write a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Our Mailing List

Subscribe to our mailing list to get the latest health news as it breaks!

Your information will not be shared with anyone!