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    AADA offers patient advocacy assistance with drug costs

    Arianne Shadi Kourosh, M.D.Dermatologists can help ensure patients' access to increasingly costly specialty drugs by getting involved at the state, national and state-society levels, said experts Friday at the 74th Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD) in Washington D.C.

    READ: The tale of the $220 tube of clobetasol cream

    As insured patients' copayments on dermatology drugs have soared, says Arianne Shadi Kourosh, M.D., many patients can no longer afford life-altering treatments. This problem initially impacted biologic drugs primarily, she adds, but during the past year, insurers have increased copayments on many generic drugs commonly used in dermatology — most notably, antibiotics (such as doxycycline) and some topical steroids. She is director of community health in the department of dermatology at Massachusetts General Hospital, and a faculty physician at Harvard Medical School.

    As clinicians, "Our toolbox of medicines is suddenly narrowing immensely, and we aren't able to get our patients the medications we've been able to get them for years," Dr. Kourosh says.

    NEXT: Calling for reform

    John Jesitus
    John Jesitus is a medical writer based in Westminster, CO.

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