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Prescription Drug Price Increases

ICA has been receiving an influx of calls from patients concerned with the price increases of several standard IC treatments such as Elmiron and Uribel. We want you to know that we hear you, we are monitoring these issues, and we are working with several patient advocacy groups to develop an appropriate response and determine the best course of action. We’re working with the best interests of IC patients in mind and will keep the ICA community informed on the issues and how you may be able to assist our advocacy efforts.

In the meantime, we wanted to make you aware of several factors that are contributing to these cost increases.

In the wake of the Affordable Care Act we have seen a proliferation of policies by private payors to push the cost burden on to patients. These polices are most often targeted at individuals with rare, chronic, and costly conditions. The most common access issues are:

  1. Fail first/step therapy, where a patient must fail on a cheaper therapy before they can have access to a costlier therapy.
  2. Specialty insurance tiers, where a patient must pay coinsurance on a drug, which is 50% or 60% of the drugs total cost in addition to their monthly insurance premium. Elmiron unfortunately falls into this category.
  3. Assistance restrictions where charitable organizations that help patients with premium and copayment assistance are banned from assisting patients with their bills. If a patient receives assistance paying for insurance or paying for a drug, it can be considered fraud.

Many pharmaceutical companies do offer coupons and assistance programs, but unfortunately many of these programs require IC patients to fall below the Federal poverty line to qualify. We are currently working on updating our information regarding these assistance programs, but in the meantime, please go to our IC on a Budget page for cost saving ideas.