FAIRHOPE, Ala., Nov. 24, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- MitoAction, an organization dedicated to improving the quality of life for patients with mitochondrial disease today announced a partnership with Patients and Physicians for Rx Access, a non-profit coalition working to educate patients about cuts to compounded medication coverage.
Patients who live with mitochondrial disease depend on compounded medications, sometimes called a "mito cocktail," to assist in managing the symptoms of the condition. For many mitochondrial disease patients, including Kathleen, the mito cocktail is the only option for patients seeking "the energy necessary to live with the condition." Recent cuts to compounded medication coverage by pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) and insurance companies are forcing many mitochondrial disease patients to pay out-of-pocket for once covered medications.
"We find it unacceptable to see patients in our community endure such a financial and physical struggle to live with mitochondrial disease," said Cristy Balcells, executive director of MitoAction. "That is why we've joined forces with Patients and Physicians for Rx Access. We want to give our patients a voice and resources to fight unfair cuts to much-needed compounded medicines."
Together, MitoAction and Patients and Physicians for Rx Access have developed a list of recommendations to assist patients who have received a denial letter from their PBM or insurance company. The recommendations, which are designed to help patients navigate the benefits appeals process, include tips for communicating with their employer, pharmacist, doctor and the PBM or insurance company regarding the denial of benefits.
"When announcing their arbitrary cuts to coverage for compounded medications, Express Scripts and other PBMs promised that those who needed compounded medications would continue to receive them," said Jay McEniry, executive director of Patients and Physicians for Rx Access. "To date, their promises ring empty to millions of patients, including those with life-threatening mitochondrial disease. These patients are being denied access to vital medications prescribed by their doctor, all in the name of profit. We are proud to join MitoAction to stand up to the PBMs and insurance companies who are denying access to essential compounded medications."
As patients get the opportunity to renew or change insurance plans for next year, McEniry offers a word of advice, "Be an advocate for yourself and your loved ones. If your insurance is provided through an employer, ask the benefits manager to consider insurance plans that include coverage for compounded medications at the policy renewal date. If you carry individual insurance, research plans that include compounded medication coverage and be ready to switch plans at the beginning of the next benefit year."
About Patients and Physicians for Rx Access
Patients and Physicians for Rx Access is a coalition consisting of individual patients, patient advocacy groups, pharmacists, physicians, pharmacies and healthcare organizations working to save patient access to compounded medications. The coalition formed to protect patients from the immediate threat from a growing number of pharmacy benefit managers and insurance companies who are working quietly to deny coverage for these essential medications. For more information visit http://saverxaccess.org/
MitoAction's mission is to improve quality of life for all who are affected by mitochondrial disorders through support, education and advocacy initiatives. MitoAction strives to offer comprehensive, up-to-date, expert resources, information and support at no cost to any patient, family, clinician, educator or member of the community. For more information visit http://www.mitoaction.org/
SOURCE Patients and Physicians for Rx Access