Biologic drugs - the human face and cost of breakthrough medicine

Posted Date: April 11, 2013

Catherine Hofstetter was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis twenty years ago. As the President of a small business begun by her father in the 1950’s, she doesn’t have a drug plan. And yet, she relies on expensive medications to get up every morning and go to work—just as Catherine’s employees rely on her to keep the business running. For Catherine, the drugs that are most beneficial are biologics.

Watch our video, The Human Face—and the Cost—of Biologics, in which we focus on the drugs that help keep Catherine Hofstetter at work:

Biologic drugs are made from living micro-organisms and their production can be more complicated and costly than it is for traditional drugs. Biologics can, in fact, cost tens of thousands—and as much as hundreds of thousands—of dollars per patient per year. Because of their efficacy, more and more doctors are prescribing biologics to treat chronic diseases such as cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Catherine, like so many business owners, needs to manage costs to keep her business thriving. And, like many employees, she needs to have access to drugs to lead an active, productive life.

The Empire Life Special Authorization program helps business owners’ manage both costs and access so their drug plans are sustainable. Under this program, employees must acquire approval for certain high cost drugs before they will be covered. That’s because in many cases—rheumatoid arthritis being one—about half of all patients will respond well to traditional drug therapies.

Special Authorization ensures that appropriate lower cost drugs are tried before higher cost ones. Business owners need intelligent drug management solutions. Active plan management using Special Authorization helps maximize drug benefit dollars—protecting both employees and employers.

We are pleased to provide a suite of new materials that detail our Special Authorization program. For more information, please talk to your Empire Life account team.