By: Rick R. Suarez, Vice President, Market Access
“If you can’t afford your medicine, AstraZeneca may be able to help.” You may have heard that statement at the end of our advertising, directing patients to our copay savings programs and prescription savings program, AZ&Me™.
As Vice President of Market Access in the US, I understand the importance of this message for patients, and I’m proud that at AstraZeneca we are committed to providing affordable access to our medicines. In fact, we’ve offered patient assistance programs for over 35 years, and we offer other programs and services to help patients get the medicines they need.
But our commitment to patients extends far beyond a tagline.
We’re continually called to demonstrate the value we bring, and that starts with pushing the boundaries of science to deliver life-changing medicines. In 2016, AstraZeneca invested $5.9 billion in research and development of new treatments to help patients live longer, healthier lives, including in prostate, breast, ovarian, blood, bladder, and many other types of cancers; Alzheimer’s disease; cystic fibrosis; and a number of other diseases.
After one of our medicines receives approval from the Food and Drug Administration, my team works with health systems and Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to establish access to our medicines. Under the current system, that process focuses on per-unit prices and discounts to gain formulary placement and determine a patient’s copay.
AstraZeneca is currently working with private payers and health plans in new ways to develop innovative and flexible ways to pay for medicines that focus on results, lower out-of-pocket costs, and enable patients to access the right treatments the first time. We believe this emphasis on value and not solely volume holds promise to improve patient outcomes, provide access to medicines, and increase efficiencies.
I’m honored to say that AstraZeneca provided patient savings to 4.5 million patients across the US and Puerto Rico over the past 10 years through AZ&Me™. We also offered reimbursement support through Access 360™, copay savings programs, and product donations to patients in need. We recognize how important it is that we continue to show the many ways we’re working to deliver value to patients and the healthcare system, from developing new treatments to establishing innovative ways to pay for medicines that focus on patient access and outcomes.
Visit the Affordability section of our website to learn more about our commitment to patients and available resources.