In a powerful op-ed published in the New York Daily News over the weekend, psoriatic arthritis patient Danielle Yevsa (pictured) writes about her devastating personal experience with an insurance company’s step-therapy/fail first practices. Yevsa, a patient advocate who works with CreakyJoints and the Global Healthy Living Foundation, was initially unable to access the medication her doctor prescribed because the insurer deemed it too costly. Instead, the payer approved a lower-priced chemotherapy drug that made her violently ill, compromised her immune system, and ultimately did nothing to improve her condition.
“While my situation may seem like the exception, payers routinely force patients to fail on less expensive medications first to test whether they might work or, in my case, not work at all and cause complications, before approving costlier medication,” Yevsa writes.
After a six-month battle with the insurer, during which time Yevsa lost her job because she was unable to work, the company finally approved the drug her doctor had originally prescribed. Thankfully, it worked.
“It’s time insurers realized it’s not about the bottom line — it’s about people’s lives. Give us the drugs our doctors say are right for us. Right away.”
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