News

New York helps people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis by limiting specialty drug tiers

In a move that could help thousands of people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in New York, Gov. David Paterson signed a bill on Oct. 2 that will allow the State Insurance Department to deny requests from insurance carriers that want to create specialty drug pricing tiers. Insurance companies often create these specialty tiers by charging patients a percentage of the cost of certain high-priced drugs, resulting in hundreds and even thousands of dollars a month for vital medication.

Health plans in other states have used similar pricing systems to require patients to pay higher copayments or co-insurance based on the drug's cost or the disease that the medication will treat.

"Throughout my Administration, we have focused on initiating and supporting reforms that improve access, quality and affordability of health care," Gov. Paterson said in a statement.

The bill, which passed the New York State Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support, will help improve access to care for New Yorkers with serious conditions such as psoriasis that need expensive drugs to live longer lives, slow the progression of disease or maintain their quality of life.

Members of the Psoriasis Action Network made phone calls that helped the bill pass the New York State Senate and Assembly, as well as sent numerous e-mails to Gov. Paterson's office promoting this legislation. The National Psoriasis Foundation also submitted a memo of support to key legislators.

Oct. 15, 2010