ATAP Rings in New Year by Adding Three New Members to Coalition
WASHINGTON, DC – February 5, 2018 – The Alliance for Transparent & Affordable Prescriptions (ATAP), a coalition of provider and patient groups concerned about the practices of pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), started off the new year by adding three new members to its coalition: Kentuckiana Rheumatology Alliance (KRA), Ohio Association of Rheumatology (OAR), and International Foundation for Autoimmune & Autoinflammatory Arthritis (IFAA).
“Research within the field of rheumatology continues to expand the knowledge of our diseases and treatment options for our patients,” said Dr. Stephanie Ott, OAR President. “Unfortunately, economics and hidden forces affecting the market around the cost of our treatments puts these out of the reach of many of our patients,” she continued. “PBM or insurance company profits should never come before patient care or interfere with the treatment decisions of physicians,” Dr. Ott added. “OAR strongly believes in defending our patients and our profession against these types of practices and is excited to support ATAP in these crucial efforts.”
While PBMs were initially formed to control drug costs by negotiating discounts and rebates from manufacturers, those savings have not been passed on to patients. The deceptive practices of PBMs prevent patients from accessing affordable treatments.
“Ethically speaking, PBMs and payers have a duty to balance overall healthcare costs by ensuring the most reasonably priced therapeutic option, which has been clinically proven to be safe and effective in the general population, is prescribed,” said Tiffany Westrich-Robertson, IFAA CEO. “However, failure to be transparent regarding savings and profits questions the authenticity of their 'ethical' responsibility, particularly as none of their actions are benefiting the patient.”
ATAP was formed to shine a light on the opaque practices of PBMs that are contrary to the best interests of patients. The coalition works to support policy solutions at both the state and federal level that lower prescription drug costs and give decision making power back to physicians and patients.
“We at the Kentuckiana Rheumatology Alliance realize that patients struggle with increasing prescription drug costs,” said Dr. Tim Lonesky, KRA President. “We have joined ATAP to become part of a disruptive organization united against PBMs. We hope to increase patients’ access to prescriptions and reform the drug industry.”