Access, affordability and one patient’s experience

Philadelphia Inquirer columnist Lisa Scottoline recently wrote about her experience in trying to access one of our medicines – CRESTOR® (rosuvastatin calcium). It is a frustrating – and all too common – example of someone trying to follow her doctor’s instructions and take her medication, but being challenged by the contradictory forces within the health care system, which ultimately lead to higher costs for the patient. Lisa’s doctor prescribed CRESTOR, but her insurance plan wouldn’t cover the medicine and Lisa was faced with a large out-of-pocket expense if she wanted to continue taking CRESTOR.

We have reached out to Lisa to learn more about her challenges and see if there are ways we can help.

CRESTOR has Preferred coverage on more health care plans than any other branded medicine in its class. (Based on Tier 1 & 2 coverage status from Fingertip Formulary® Database as of May 20, 2011.) The majority of people with prescription drug coverage can get CRESTOR for $30 or less per month. (Individual out-of-pocket costs may vary. Commercial insurance only.)

The monthly average list price (wholesale acquisition cost) for CRESTOR is about $130, but pharmacies often acquire the product for less than that. In Lisa’s case, since her insurance was not covering the product, she was asked to pay cash for her CRESTOR. The pharmacy she went to was charging her almost three times the list price for a 30-day supply of CRESTOR!

What was so troubling to us about this story was that Lisa, who had insurance, was unable to get the medicine her doctor thought was right for her. AstraZeneca works hard each day to ensure that as many insurance plans as possible allow patients to get the AstraZeneca medicines that their doctors prescribe.

At AstraZeneca, we realize that cost can sometimes be a hurdle to people filling their prescriptions and taking them as their doctors have prescribed. This is why we’ve created a number of resources to help patients address cost concerns. With the CRESTOR Savings Card, eligible patients with commercial prescription insurance can get CRESTOR for $18 a month. (Subject to eligibility. Restrictions apply. See full eligibility criteria at CRESTOR.com.)

In addition, we provide help for the uninsured and underinsured to access AstraZeneca medicines.  Last year, AstraZeneca helped more than 545,000 patients fill 4.1 million prescriptions, resulting in $947 million in savings to patients.

For more information about CRESTOR, please visit CRESTOR.com.

Elizabeth Renz, Director, Brand Corporate Affairs at AstraZeneca

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