Stephen Marmaras: The Burden of High-Cost Biologics

Stephen Marmaras, director of policy and advocacy for the Global Healthy Living Foundation, discusses the burden of high-cost biologics.

Transcript:What’s the burden of out-of-pocket costs for patients who rely on biologic drugs?

I think from the patient perspective…there’s a big surprise for patients. I think we’ve seen a significant rise of high-deductible health plans, and a lot of people with chronic diseases purchasing those high-deductible health plans, in part, because the premiums associated with those high-deductible health plans are significantly lower. Patients have begun to rely on needing that high deductible with their copay assistance programs.

So, I think what we’re most afraid of, most recently with out-of-pocket costs regarding these specialty drugs, is that patients have come to rely on a way of getting by the high-deductible health plan that may be going away, and they may not be aware of that.

In our advocacy efforts, one of the things we’re working on is to educate patients that they really have to look into their health plan, especially their high-deductible health plans, and understand if copay accumulators are being applied to that policy.