Eczema, also known as atopic dermatitis, is a common chronic skin condition that affects individuals worldwide. The Cleveland Clinic and National Eczema Foundation estimate that over 31 million people in the United States alone suffer from this condition. As symptoms may vary from mild to severe, managing this condition can be challenging and sometimes expensive.
We have talked about a variety of treatments for eczema, which include red light therapy. However, medication is usually much more effective for treating this skin disorder.
One promising treatment option is Eucrisa (crisaborole), a non-steroidal topical medication. However, the cost of Eucrisa can be a barrier for many patients. To address this issue, this article delves into exploring affordable options to manage Eucrisa treatment costs.
Eucrisa, an FDA-approved ointment, is known for its efficacy in treating mild to moderate eczema in patients aged two years and above. It works by inhibiting a particular enzyme (phosphodiesterase-4) that plays a critical role in inflammatory processes within the body, reducing the symptoms of eczema, such as itching, redness, and swelling.
Though Eucrisa is a potent medication, the financial burden can often discourage patients. According to SingleCare, the typical cost for one 60g tube is approximately $984 without insurance, making it crucial for patients and caregivers to explore different cost-saving strategies.
Insurance and Prescription Assistance Programs
One of the first strategies for managing the cost of Eucrisa is utilizing health insurance benefits. Most health insurance plans cover prescription medications, and Eucrisa is often included. However, the extent of coverage varies widely based on the plan’s details. You will get less if you have Medicare Part D coverage, but you will still pay less than if you were uninsured.
It’s crucial to reach out to your insurance provider to understand the specific coverage for Eucrisa and the out-of-pocket costs you might incur.
If you’re uninsured or your insurance does not cover Eucrisa adequately, prescription assistance programs (PAPs) can be a lifesaver.
These programs, often funded by pharmaceutical companies, are designed to help eligible patients access medications at a significantly reduced cost or sometimes even for free. Pfizer, the manufacturer of Eucrisa, offers a PAP known as Pfizer RxPathways. The eligibility criteria typically includes:
- Proof of residency in the United States
- Verification of limited income
- Lack of prescription insurance coverage
Patient Savings and Coupon Programs
Beyond insurance and PAPs, patients may also consider savings and coupon programs to manage Eucrisa costs. One such program is the Eucrisa copay card provided by Pfizer.
This is part of the Eucrisa Savings Card program available to eligible commercially insured patients. With this program, and specifically the Eucrisa copay card, the patient’s out-of-pocket cost for Eucrisa can be as low as $10 per month, potentially saving them up to $600 per tube.
In addition to manufacturer programs, numerous third-party websites provide free or low-cost coupons for prescription medications.
Websites like GoodRx and SingleCare offer a platform where patients can search for their medication and locate the best price available at local pharmacies. While these programs can’t be combined with insurance, they can sometimes offer lower prices than standard insurance copays, making them a valuable option for uninsured patients or those with high deductibles.
Choosing Generic Alternatives
While Eucrisa currently has no direct generic equivalent, patients might consider other more affordable generic topical treatments for eczema, after consulting their healthcare provider. Generic medications contain the same active ingredients as their brand-name counterparts, providing similar efficacy at a lower cost.
Topical corticosteroids, like hydrocortisone and triamcinolone, and calcineurin inhibitors such as tacrolimus, are commonly used to treat eczema and have generic versions available. These alternatives can significantly reduce treatment costs, but they come with their own side effects and risks, underscoring the importance of discussing these options thoroughly with your healthcare provider.
Navigating Online Pharmacies and Medication Importation
Another potential strategy for managing Eucrisa treatment costs is to explore online pharmacies and medication importation. With the internet opening up a global marketplace, many patients are turning to online pharmacies to find better prices for their medications.
However, it’s crucial to ensure the online pharmacy is reputable and meets the standards set by regulatory authorities.
The National Association of Boards of Pharmacy (NABP) provides a list of Verified Internet Pharmacy Practice Sites (VIPPS), which have been vetted and accredited. Patients can refer to this list to find safe, verified online pharmacies that may offer Eucrisa at lower costs.
Importantly, patients should be aware of the potential pitfalls and risks associated with online pharmacies, including counterfeit or expired medications, and incorrect dosages. Always ensure that the online pharmacy requires a prescription for purchase and offers a means to contact a registered pharmacist for any questions or concerns.
Beyond domestic online pharmacies, some patients may also consider importing medication from other countries where drug costs are lower.
However, it’s essential to be aware that the FDA generally prohibits the importation of prescription drugs that are available in the U.S.
There are a few exceptions to this rule, particularly if the drug is for a serious condition for which effective treatment is not available in the U.S. In such cases, the drug must not represent an unreasonable risk, and the patient must provide certification from the doctor that the medication is for personal use.
In sum, while online pharmacies and medication importation might offer cost-saving opportunities, they come with their own set of risks and legal considerations. Patients should be well-informed and cautious when pursuing these avenues, always prioritizing safety and efficacy alongside cost-saving.
Managing the costs associated with Eucrisa, a potent eczema treatment, requires strategic exploration of available resources.
From leveraging insurance coverage and prescription assistance programs to employing patient savings and coupon schemes, patients have several options to make their treatment more affordable. Moreover, considering generic alternatives under the guidance of healthcare providers can be another cost-effective solution.
While eczema’s complex nature can make treatment challenging and expensive, the existence of various cost-saving strategies provides hope for affordable, effective care. Remember, it’s essential to openly discuss your financial concerns with your healthcare provider, who can guide you towards the best affordable treatment option without compromising your health.