PAP 2024: Amy Niles Discusses Moderating the State of Patient Access and Affordability Breakout Session

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In an interview with Pharma Commerce Associate Editor Don Tracy, Amy Niles, Chief Mission Officer, PAN Foundation offers her thoughts on the session and feedback from the audience at PAP 2024 in Philadelphia.

PC: You recently moderated a presentation on “The State of Patient Access and Affordability.” What was discussed during the session?

Niles: Today, the PAN Foundation launched the findings of its annual State of Patient Access report. This will be a flagship advocacy initiative that we launched year over year. The purpose behind this report was to hear from the patient perspective, adults living with chronic conditions from across the country. What are the challenges that they face every single day accessing the care they need? We polled more than 2500 adults with chronic conditions last summer and we created a rigorous methodology to create our annual scorecard. The bottom line is adults with chronic conditions simply do not rate access to their health care in this country with high marks, they gave it a grade C.

There were strong disparities that were observed between various groups and conditions. While we saw a grade C for overall access to care, we know that communities such as patients of color and patients who identify as LGBTQIA are really struggling with barriers to their care. So the purpose of the report was to understand these barriers, and ultimately to provide an agenda for not only the pan foundation, but patient advocacy organizations who can work together towards policy solutions that will improve access to their care.

PC: What questions were raised by the audience? How was the feedback?

Niles: I think on the panel, we raised a number of issues that we saw in the State of Patient Access Report, issues that really impact patients every single day. One of the common areas was prior authorization and how that prevents access to care. In the survey, patients identified the challenges accessing the medications they need. In the community that said they struggle with out of pocket costs, more than one out of two patients actually took action and didn't even fill their prescription. That's more than one out of two adults. Others took different actions such as going back to their health care provider to get a more affordable treatment, rationing their care, and decided to stop treatments. These were disturbing findings, not necessarily surprising, but disturbing findings. I think a stunning finding was when we asked questions around challenges that patients face accessing the care they need through their health care plans, patients across the board gave that a D minus, almost a failing grade. So again, lots of challenges that patients are facing, accessing the care they need.

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