If you are taking one of Vertex’s medications, you may be aware that the GPS program at Vertex recently made changes to its co-pay assistance program. In September of 2022, a patient advocate at Vertex reached out to The Bonnell Foundation. The reason for the Zoom meeting was to explain how the co-pay assistance program would change in 2023. It’s my understanding (Laura Bonnell) that Vertex reached out to many CF nonprofits so that in addition to communicating directly with enrolled patients, foundations like mine would also help spread the word and know where to direct people if they had any questions.
Vertex has communicated that they oppose any programs or initiatives that increase costs for patients. This means for example, an insurance company taking funds that were provided to patients as part of the GPS program.
Co-pay accumulators and maximizers work this way. Let me explain: You take your assistance or coupon from your pharma and give it your pharmacy. The insurance company gets those funds, but they don’t go toward your out-of-pocket responsibility. So, the insurance company actually gets paid twice. In Michigan, advocates like myself are trying to change this law so that co-pay assistance gives credit to the consumer.
You may have seen press releases or posts on social media from other foundations or patients regarding these changes, some of which express concern that people taking Vertex medicines will literally pay the price. Vertex has assured their enrolled patients that no one will go without their medication.
I’m here with Jenna Harrington- who is the Head of Vertex’s Guidance and Patient Support Program – to help us understand more about these changes, who is impacted, and why these changes were made.
I also have another guest with us- Amit Sachdev- who is the Chief Patient Officer at Vertex. These changes are being made due to restrictive insurance practices and ultimately, we need a systemic solution for people living with chronic diseases. He will be talking about the policy aspect and what we can do to get more involved to support policies that are beneficial to the CF community.
To be transparent, Vertex is a sponsor of this podcast and our Night of Hope Event. My foundation remains objective in getting out information and will call out any person or partner if we believe they are harming or not addressing our CF community properly.
To reach GPS with any questions: 1-877-752-5933, press option 2 when calling. Vertex GPS™: Guidance and Patient Support is committed to helping all enrolled patients maintain access to their Vertex medicine through the January 2023 Co-pay Assistance Program changes.
To help in the fight to make healthcare fair get in the fight with The Bonnell Foundation. Help us fix what is wrong with the co-pay accumulator in Michigan. To help in Michigan or elsewhere go to: Allcopayscount.org
A Federal solution is also needed read up on H.R 5801 The HELP Copays Act bill.