Patient Assistance For Rheumatoid Arthritis

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic, systemic inflammatory disorder that could affect many of the tissues and organs as well, but principally attacks the joints producing an inflammatory synovitis that often progresses to destruction of the articular cartilage and ankylosis of the joints. Rheumatoid arthritis can also produce the diffuse inflammation in the lungs, pericardium, pleura, and sclera, and also the nodular lesions, mostly common in subcutaneous tissue under the skin. Although the cause of rheumatoid arthritis is unknown till now, autoimmunity plays a pivotal role in its chronicity and progression as well.

It is believed that more than 40 million Americans have no health insurance at all and the number of Americans who have limited health insurance coverage also runs into millions. And when it comes to rheumatoid arthritis, almost 2 million Americans suffered from it and many of them are unable to pay for their own treatment or they do not have enough money to buy the drugs for treating the symptoms of the rheumatoid arthritis.

Patient Assistance Programs offered and supported by Abbott, provide full access to Abbott medications, at no cost to patients who are in financial need. In 2007, more than 113,000 patients were provided with free Abbott medicines, valued at almost over $179 million. Value is estimated or based on the Wholesale Acquisition Cost (WAC) of products distributed through all these programs in 2007. WAC $ values reported per the Abbott PPD Price Catalog which was dated November 2, 2007 and would not include prompt pay discounts or any other discounts, rebates or even reductions in the price. The actual price paid by the wholesalers and the retail price paid by all the other consumers at a pharmacy may vary from place to place.

This is where the patient assistance programs for the rheumatoid arthritis come into action. These programs are basically meant for those people who cannot afford to pay for all the medicines in order to help them cope with the disease. There are basically two options for the people who are suffering from this disease. One is that they can get the drugs at no cost and the other is that they can get the drugs at a very low cost.

Patient assistance programs for rheumatoid arthritis are mostly run by big pharmaceutical companies that would manufacture the drugs for the disease. These companies may run the patient assistance programs either as corporate social responsibility or even as a helpful marketing tool. Either way, the programs are a great boon for those people who are unable to afford to get proper treatment and help for rheumatoid arthritis.

The different pharmaceutical companies running patient assistance programs for rheumatoid arthritis lay down different rules, regulations and criteria to enable people to actually the drugs. And each company selects which of the drugs can be made available through the program and how long can a patient benefit from this sort of help.

In addition, some pharmaceutical companies require patients to give detailed information on their medical history and financial background while others want very little information in comparison.