Deseret News
Letter to the editor

Autoimmune disorders represent a “best of times, worst of times” scenario today. People like me who suffer from these conditions are benefitting from significant treatment developments. Various advanced biologic therapies can now suppress symptoms and delay progression of such diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, scleroderma and others.

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Unfortunately, gaining access to these drugs can be a challenge, especially for individuals who purchase their own insurance. That includes my husband and I, who own a travel company and must supply our own health plan. High out-of-pocket costs charged by insurers for even the most common autoimmune therapies, as well as restrictive lists of “health plan-approved” medications, are barriers to treatment for many patients.

As legislators consider the future of health care, they should take into consideration such issues, with a goal of broadening access to breakthrough treatments that are transforming the prognosis for many diseases, from multiple sclerosis to cancer. Even better would be to enact policies that promote innovation aimed at discovering easier, more effective treatments and cures for all the things that ail us.

Sharon Scott