Pulmonary Hypertension Association Part of Coalition Supporting the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act

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Organization Mobilizing PH Patients and Caregivers to Ask Members of Congress to Co-Sponsor the Bill

Pulmonary Hypertension Association

“Without treatment, individuals with PH live only a few years on average. There are twelve PH treatments available, but that doesn’t matter if patients can’t pay for them.”

The Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) fully supports the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act (PATA) that was introduced in the House of Representatives this week by Reps. David B. McKinley (R-WV) and Lois Capps (D-CA). This important bi-partisan legislation will limit cost-sharing requirements for medications placed in a specialty tier and make life-saving medications more accessible by reducing patients’ out-of-pocket expenses.

This legislation is critical to individuals suffering from pulmonary hypertension (PH) – a rare, debilitating disease of the lungs that affects the functioning of the heart and can lead to right heart failure. Without treatment, the average survival rate is only 2.8 years. PATA will ensure that PH patients have greater access to their life-saving medications.

“Without treatment, individuals with PH live only a few years on average. There are twelve PH treatments available, but that doesn’t matter if patients can’t pay for them,” said Katie Kroner, PHA’s Director of Advocacy and Awareness. “This is a very real problem, and PHA is proud to be part of the Coalition for Accessible Treatments’ efforts in this regard.”

An alarming trend in today’s health insurance market is the practice of moving more expensive drugs onto specialty tiers that utilize high patient cost-sharing methods. The patient costs for drugs in specialty tiers can reach into the thousands of dollars a month, placing medically necessary treatments out of reach of average insured Americans. For many patients, this leads to failure to adhere to a treatment plan, which can lead to worsening disease, increased rates of disability, and rising health care costs.

PHA is uniquely positioned in this fight because of its community of engaged patients ready to mobilize around this legislation and make needed and necessary change. As part of PHA’s National Call-In Day on April 16, supporters will be calling their members of Congress to tell their story and ask them to co-sponsor the bill. To learn more about PHA’s legislative advocacy efforts, go to http://www.PHAssociation.org/AdvocacyActionCenter.

PHA is part of the 32-member Coalition for Accessible Treatments, which encourages patients and physicians to ask lawmakers to co-sponsor the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act of 2015.

About the Pulmonary Hypertension Association
Headquartered in Silver Spring, Md., with a growing list of chapters across the country, the Pulmonary Hypertension Association (PHA) is the country's leading pulmonary hypertension organization. Its mission is to find ways to prevent and cure pulmonary hypertension and provide hope for the community through support, education, research, advocacy and awareness. PHA does this by connecting and working together with the entire PH community of patients, families and medical professionals. Among its programs, PHA facilitates more than 245 support groups around the country and delivers continuing education for medical professionals through PHA Online University. Learn how you can join the fight against PH at PHAssociation.org.

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Renee Hockaday
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