She finally found some relief with Enbrel, an injectable biologic medication, but in 2003, after a year on the drug, it stopped working (as biologics sometimes do). Her doctor switched her to another then-new biologic, Humira, which all but cured her plaques and pains. "It was the only thing that helped me," she says.
Then, two years ago, Daley moved from Minnesota to Nevada. She has switched jobsand insurance carrierstwice since then, and in the process her Humira co-pay has skyrocketed from $7.75 to $316 per month, an outlay she can no longer afford. Even as a state employee with health insuranceshes now a licensed nurse at a state prisonDaley has effectively been priced out of the only medication that works for her.
"Insurance costs are going up higher than inflation as well," says one of the studys authors, Stephen E. Wolverton, MD, a professor of clinical dermatology at the Indiana University School of Medicine, in Indianapolis. "Most of us say this rate of increase of insurance and drug costs just cant be sustained. To the great majority of the country, $500 a month [for a biologic] is a great big chunk of change."
In recent years, rising drug costs and insurance difficulties have combined to make biologics and other psoriasis treatments too expensive for a growing number of people. Since 2006, the National Psoriasis Foundation, the leading advocacy organization for psoriasis patients, has seen almost a four-fold increase in the number of people seeking help paying for psoriasis medication.
If you find yourself in a similar predicament, resources are available that can help make psoriasis drugs more affordable. The manufacturers of biologics and other high-priced psoriasis drugs offer assistance programs that help patients cover the cost of treatment.