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Research Letter
March 2016

Personal Burden of Isotretinoin Therapy and Willingness to Pay for Electronic Follow-up Visits

Author Affiliations
  • 1School of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
  • 3Department of Dermatology, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA Dermatol. 2016;152(3):338-340. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.4763

The requirements that iPLEDGE, a computer-based risk management program (http://www.ipledgeprogram.com), places on prescribing isotretinoin typically mean that patients are seen on a monthly basis in the physician’s office for 5 to 6 months,1 which may lead to time and financial burdens on patients and caregivers, such as missed work and school. To our knowledge, these losses of time have not previously been quantified in the literature. Electronic visits (e-visits) represent a potential alternative to some follow-up visits for patients enrolled in the iPLEDGE program. Such e-visits have been shown to have utility for follow-up appointments among patients with acne, resulting in equivalent patient satisfaction compared with face-to-face appointments with a physician.24 To our knowledge, the patient’s and/or caregiver’s interest and willingness to pay for e-visits, which is especially important for the financial feasibility of such visits, have not been measured in patients prescribed isotretinoin. We used a survey to quantify the perceived burden of follow-up visits, as well as interest in, perceived safety of, and willingness to pay for e-visits.

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