Tuesday, May 31, 2016

ACTION ITEM for Families Touched by Pediatric Epilepsy in Houston and all oF Texas.

Important: Contact your state representative to preserve access to epilepsy medications on current formulary.

Preserve open access to epilepsy medicine in Medicaid program

Published 12:00 am, Sunday, May 29, 2016

The Texas Legislature is considering a change to the state’s Medicaid program that could jeopardize access to epilepsy care by allowing insurers, not physicians, to choose what medications managed care plans would cover.
Drug formulary changes, intended to cut costs, often translate into medical complications that hurt the vulnerable beneficiaries served by the Medicaid program and are more costly to the state in the long run. Research shows that access to epilepsy medications leads to greater seizure control and less hospitalizations, and savings from restrictive formularies often lead to greater spending on medical complications that outweigh the savings.
Epilepsy medications are not interchangeable, and individuals often react quite differently to available treatments. With each medication comes side effects, often significant enough that quality of life is compromised and many people abandon their treatment. This is why people living with epilepsy need meaningful access to the full range of treatments available — and the specialists who know how to prescribe them.
Selecting the appropriate epilepsy medication to achieve seizure control requires consideration of a number of variables, including type and frequency of seizures, age, gender, and other health conditions. It often requires trial and error, along with close observation of blood levels and side effects. Open access to epilepsy medications in the Medicaid program ensures meaningful and timely access to epilepsy care.
The human toll of uncontrolled seizures is significant and extends beyond the individual living with epilepsy.

Delaying access to medications and interrupting proven treatment regimens leads to breakthrough seizures, related complications, and increased medical costs due to preventable seizures, including accidents, emergency room visits and hospitalizations. Along with a decreased quality of life and costly health complications, there also are the lost wages and productivity for individuals living with epilepsy, their families and their communities.

Full article HERE

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