Higher Copayment Associated with Lower Medication Adherence in People with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus
In a new study, higher medication copayment amounts were associated with reduced adherence to hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) and immunosuppressive medications used for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) treatment. Not taking medications as prescribed has been linked to increased emergency department visits and hospitalizations.
Researchers reviewed a large-sized claims database. The records of 12,510 people with SLE were examined. Of the group, 9,510 were prescribed HCQ and 1,880 were prescribed HCQ and an additional immunosuppressant. The average 30-day copayment amount ranged from $8-10. In those who had a copayment amount more than $10.00, taking medication as prescribed was at 61% for HCQ, 44% for azathioprine, and 69% for mycophenolate mofetil. Adherence due to high copayments occurred across demographics, comorbidities, and social factors.
For people with chronic illnesses, buying expensive medications every month can be a burden. Understanding the burden of copayments and potential consequences for taking medications as prescribed is critical for improving access to affordable medications, as well as outcomes. The Lupus Foundation of America understands the cost of living with lupus. Learn more about financial assistance resources and available prescription assistance programs.
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