Reinforcing our industry’s commitment to providing patients with more transparency about medicine costs, yesterday, our member companies announced the launch of the Medicine Assistance Tool, or MAT.
Here are five things you should know about MAT:
1. What is MAT?
The Medicine Assistance Tool, or MAT, is an online platform that complements our member companies’ new approach to direct-to-consumer (DTC) television advertising announced in October 2018. As part of this effort, the PhRMA board of directors adopted enhancements to its voluntary DTC principles to state that “[a]ll DTC television advertising that identifies a prescription medicine by name should include direction as to where patients can find information about the cost of a medicine, such as a company-developed website, including the list price and average, estimated, or typical patient out-of-pocket costs, or other context about the potential cost of the medicine.” MAT provides patients, caregivers and providers with links to these new websites and includes a search engine to connect patients with medicine-specific financial assistance programs. In addition, MAT has resources to help patients navigate their insurance coverage.
2. Who created MAT?
Our member companies partnered with consumer, patient, pharmacist and provider groups to develop MAT. This ongoing partnership and exchange of ideas enables MAT to provide patients with the transparency they want about their medicicine costs and make it easier for those with financial need to access their medicines. Learn more about MAT and its partners here.3. How does MAT work?
When patients visit MAT.org and input basic information into the search engine –including prescription medicines, age, income and current insurance coverage (if any) – they will be provided with information about potentially available cost assistance resources that may help them afford their medicines. These resources build on the previous offerings of the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, or PPA platform. Over the last decade, our member companies have helped more than 10 million patients access their medicines through PPA. MAT expands upon this program and patients visiting the PPA website will now be redirected to this more comprehensive resource.
4. How does MAT help me understand my medicine costs?
MAT provides patients, caregivers and providers with links to websites, referenced in company DTC television advertising, where information about the cost of the prescription medicine is available. These websites may include information such as the list price of the medicine, out-of-pocket costs and other context about the potential costs of the medicine. MAT also includes a search engine to connect patients with medicine-specific financial assistance programs. In addition, MAT has resources to help patients navigate their insurance coverage.
5. How can I use MAT to find information about prescription assistance?
MAT will produce search results that identify programs and resources that might be able to help. MAT is designed to help patients, caregivers and health care providers learn more about the resources available through the various biopharmaceutical industry programs. MAT is not its own patient assistance program, but rather a search engine for many of the support programs and resources that the biopharmaceutical industry has offered for decades.
Learn more about PhRMA’s commitment to providing patients with more transparency about medicine costs here.
Holly Campbell Holly Campbell is former deputy vice president of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on the cost and value of medicines. Prior to joining PhRMA, Holly worked for large and small public relations firms where she provided strategic communications counsel, media relations and partnership expertise to health care and pharmaceutical clients. In her free time, she enjoys taking barre classes, trying new restaurants and spending time with Boss and Poppy, her rescue pups.