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Health Insurance Payers Should Allow True Access to Prescription Drugs that are Proven to be Effective in African-American Patients

WHEREAS, certain prescription drug treatments have been identified to substantially benefit the health of African Americans suffering from chronic conditions; and

WHEREAS, prescription drug therapies for chronic conditions have the potential to be cost-effective, saving the health system substantial money because of fewer or avoided hospitalizations; and

WHEREAS, non-preferred or non-formulary prescription drugs require the highest co-payment amount; preferred or formulary drugs require a lower co-payment amount; and generic drugs require the lowest co-payment to patients; and

WHEREAS, prescription drugs that have been proven to effective in African American patients currently require co-payment amounts that have effectively rendered the treatments financially inaccessible or create financial hardships for many prospective Black patients; and

WHEREAS, the Community Tracking Study Household Survey (2003), found that 18.3% of U.S. Adults with at least one chronic condition did not purchase prescribed medication because of cost concerns; and

WHEREAS, placement of a prescription drug therapy that has the potential to significantly improve the health of African Americans as a non-preferred/non-formulary prescription makes the treatment financially inaccessible to many of the patients who stand to benefit from the drug; and

WHEREAS, the financial burden placed on patients who attempt to gain access to prescriptions drugs that have been proven to be effective yet are unaffordable, represents yet another significant barrier to access to quality medical care for Minority Americans;

WHEREAS, those models of prescription drug access which prioritize cost containment at the expense of patient care pose a significant threat to communities of color and the low-income; now

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the NAACP advocate and urge all health insurance payers to ensure patient access to the highest quality, lowest cost prescription drug therapy possible, specifically those prescription drugs that have the potential to reduce disparities for African Americans; and

BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED, that the NAACP advocate that drugs and other treatments that have been shown to be effective solely in African Americans that these drugs and treatments be made available for free or, for those with insurance, with no co-pay to African Americans and to other minority groups.

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