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New Study Shows Epidemic of Non-Medical Switching Practice in Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 25, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Indiana Stable Patient Protection Coalition (ISPPC), in partnership with the Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLC) and the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO), recently published a study that found that most patients in Indiana are falling victim to a common practice known as non-medical switching (NMS).

Non-medical switching is a strategy used to reduce administrative expenses by switching the prescription for a stable patient to a "preferred" or cheaper pharmaceutical drug.

"The negligence of non-medical switching can be very harmful to patients," said Daniel Hernandez, Medical Advocacy Liaison from the Global Healthy Living Foundation. "Patients may experience additional, sometimes worse, side effects and symptoms; disease progression; potential relapse; financial and emotional strain; and potential delays in obtaining life-saving medications."

Through an online survey, the majority (68.9%) of respondents reported that their insurance company switched their medication to a drug that was different from the one their physician prescribed, oftentimes without warning.

Key Findings from the Study Include:

  • Of those affected by NMS, 69.2% had no opportunity to reject and/or decline the switch.
  • 74.1% reported that the primary therapy prescribed to them became suddenly and significantly more expensive to obtain.
  • 78.8% found their new medication to be less effective.
  • Of the 56.9% that reported side-effects from the new medication, 92.8% reported the side-effects as worse than the initial medication's, and 61.4% reported it as much worse.
  • Of the people who did experience side effects, 46.4% reported seeing their health care provider, going to the emergency room, or both because of complications they were experiencing with the new medication.
  • 98.6% support legislation that would prohibit insurance companies from financially pressuring them to switch their physician prescribed medication for non-medical reasons.

The extent and impact of NMS on patients has been remarkably unmeasured and ignored by health insurance and pharmacy benefit management companies. The findings suggest that this is not only a regional problem but a medical and economic issue on a national level.

For more information, view the infographic and executive summary.

About Indiana Stable Patient Protection Coalition
The Indiana Stable Patient Protection Coalition consists of a diverse selection of patient and physician advocacy organizations that represent Indiana residents who suffer from complex and chronic conditions. The coalition was convened to respond to the growing problem presented by non-medical switching for patients suffering from the aforementioned conditions. 

About Global Healthy Living Foundation
The Global Healthy Living Foundation is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to improve the quality of life for people living with chronic illnesses (such as arthritis, osteoporosis, migraine, diabetes, psoriasis, and cardiovascular disease) by advocating for improved access to health care at the community, state, and federal levels, and amplifying education and awareness efforts within its social media framework. GHLF is also a staunch advocate for vaccines. The Global Healthy Living Foundation is the parent organization of CreakyJoints®, the digital arthritis community for millions of arthritis patients and caregivers worldwide who seek education, support, activism, and patient-centered research through ArthritisPower®, the first-ever patient-centered research registry for joint, bone, and inflammatory skin conditions. Visit for more information.

About the Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations
The Coalition of State Rheumatology Organization (CSRO) is comprised of over 30 state and regional professional rheumatology societies whose mission is to advocate for excellence in the field of rheumatology, ensuring access to the highest quality care for the management of rheumatologic and musculoskeletal disease.

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SOURCE Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations (CSRO)

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Last Updated: 25-Feb-2019