Peer Identified Treatment Success Must Be the Measure

Did you know that the type of treatment you receive including the medical products you might use and the way that treatment is paid for is often based on whether or not your mood disorder symptoms are improving?

DBSA recognizes that current treatment outcome measurements are not always measuring what’s most important to peers and we are doing something about it. We are working to identify and define treatment outcomes that are important to peers. Our goal with this initiative is to assist stakeholders: medical product developers, regulators and researchers to improve treatments by providing the entire community with a different perspective on how peers define treatment success.

In November, DBSA convened the 2nd Patient Engagement/Stakeholder Workshop in Silver Spring, MD. During the workshop DBSA provided the results of the 2018 Supporting Wellness survey, Voice of the Patient Report from the 2018 externally-led patient focused drug development meeting, and from the 2019 peer focus groups.

Among the most troubling findings were that only 21.5% of patients work with their clinicians to make adjustments during a time when symptoms impact their life. Put another way, one participant shared: “So many of us, as patients, feel like we have to take on so much to control, not only our conditions but managing medications, relationships, and everything. Yet we’re left alone. We felt let down.”

This information provided a foundation for group exercises that will assist in identifying aspects of wellness for further exploration in 2020. US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) staff shared insights into innovation around patient-centered outcomes at the agency, and expert researchers shared information about tools that could meet some of the peer identified treatment preferences. DBSA is working on a report about the results of the 2019 focus groups and the November workshop. We are excited to share more about both in the coming months!

Please forward to colleagues, family, and friends to assist us in this grassroots effort to make our voice heard.

To continue to receive communications about issues that support access to quality mental health care,

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Make a Difference in 2020. Our Voices Are Stronger Together

Advocacy can take many forms. Legislative advocacy is only one of those forms, and new laws are only one component of government policy that affects access to care. For example, the state agency that regulates government insurance programs makes the majority of the decisions that affect matters of access for beneficiaries. Those agencies hold drug utilization review (DUR) councils to set practices in prescribing, dispensing, and administering medication.

The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) supports peers making their own decisions about treatment options. We recognize for many, the opportunity to lead a thriving life begins with hope and, for many, continues with access to quality mental health care, including medication, that meets individualized needs. That is why as the leading peer-focused mental health organization, DBSA writes letters of support or to voice our opposition to policies that affect peers. In November, we wrote to the Medicaid offices in Iowa, Louisiana, and Wyoming regarding proposals to remove certain medical products from their preferred drug list. During 2019, we wrote letters in support of or opposed to regulatory policies. Click here to read those letters.

In spite of our effort, the state Medicaid offices of Iowa, Louisiana and Wyoming moved forward with their proposed policies. Our voices are stronger together. When we all participate in, and send our own individual letters to these regulatory bodies, we can make a difference. In 2020 we’ll keep you informed about these opportunities. Be on the lookout for and make it a wellness goal this year to participate.

Please forward to colleagues, family, and friends to assist us in this grassroots effort to make our voice heard.

To continue to receive communications about issues that support access to quality mental health care,

Join Our Movement

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