Exploring Novel TYK2-Targeted Therapies for Plaque Psoriasis - Episode 7

Navigating Treatment Access Challenges in Patients With Plaque Psoriasis

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Linda Stein Gold, MD, and Bruce Strober, MD, PhD, share considerations for ensuring that patients on Medicare and Medicaid receive the appropriate medication.

Linda Stein Gold, MD: Now that we’ve talked about the efficacy, the safety, do you have any tips in terms of getting patients the medication, including deucravacitinib, that you want them to have? Because this is such a challenging area and it’s so frustrating for the patients, and frustrating for the physicians. What do you do?

Bruce Strober, MD, PhD: Well, the first point I like to make is if a patient has commercial insurance, private commercial insurance, they can get the drug because the manufacturers of deucravacitinib and of the other drugs too, like biologics, have what’s called bridging programs. If patients are denied therapy by their insurance, so there’s a delay in the approval process, they will be given free drug. At least that’s what’s occurring now in the United States and should be occurring into the indefinite future. Patients with commercial insurance get the drug. The challenging patients are people on government supported health care, for example, Medicare and Medicaid. And Medicaid of course is state by state. But Medicare in general is a challenge because expensive medications, the full bill is not flipped by the government. There’s only a portion of it. Unless there is a patient assistance program that can fill the gap and pay up the difference that’s due to the patient. Medicare is my greatest challenge, honestly. Obviously, uninsured patients are challenging too, because it’ll be very hard to deliver the drug. Though, again, patient assistance programs and low-income patients can get a drug free from the manufacturers as well.

Transcript edited for clarity