More than 15,000 doctors, nurses, physical therapists, researchers, scientists and others with interest and/or expertise in rheumatology gathered in Chicago in late October for the American College of Rheumatology’s Annual Meeting. The Arthritis Foundation had a contingent of “patient representatives” attending to provide the perspective and voice of people living with arthritis. They fanned out to attend sessions, view and present posters and collect information about exciting new developments in the field. Here are their notes from the final sessions of the meeting.
The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) reports there were currently 15,000 attendees representing 106 countries at the 2018 Annual Meeting in Chicago and more than 3,000 abstracts on exhibit. Also on tap: session after session highlighting the newest research and filling in information gaps, and the Arthritis Foundation’s Patient Reps are hard at work going to them and reporting back with their findings and impressions.
Donna Dernier attended a session called “Mechanics of PBMs and Patient Access to Medications.” PBMs, which stands for Pharmacy Benefit Managers, are the groups that work between drug manufacturers and health insurance plans that decide which drugs are in the plans’ formulary, how much they will cost and who will have access. “They are totally opaque, powerful, they use a system of rebates and fees to set the prices. They are largely unregulated,” says Dernier. Thanks to long, complicated forms that medical practices have to fill out, “Lots of practices cannot handle that workload and their patients lose out,” she says. Continue reading ACR 2018 Sessions Include Drug Pricing, OA Treatments, Diet as Therapy
“Patient perspective,” “patient-reported outcomes” and “shared decision making” are hot topics at the American College of Rheumatology (ACR) 2018 Annual Meeting in Chicago. In fact, many patients – including some of the Arthritis Foundation’s patient representatives – are attending the four-day event, which highlights rheumatology developments and draws medical professionals and researchers from around the world.
Donna Dernier, one of the Arthritis Foundation’s Patient Reps, reports that she ran into Hazel Breland, PhD, the incoming president of the Association of Rheumatology Health Professionals (AHRP), a division of the ACR. “She noticed my Patient Rep Sticker and stopped to say how glad she was to see patients involved with so many aspects of health care,” says Dernier.
Besides attending the conference, patients are getting involved in many ways. Four patients affiliated with the Arthritis Foundation exhibited posters during the Patient Perspectives Poster session on Sunday.