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Wisconsin Step Therapy Reform Bill Signed into Law

WI Governor Tony Evers Signs Step Therapy Bill with Arthritis Foundation Advocates Looking On On July 9th, 2019, Wisconsin joined the ranks of 27 states that have passed legislation to curb step therapy. This legislation places important guardrails to protect patients from the inappropriate use of burdensome step therapy protocols making patients “fail first” before they can take the medication originally prescribed. This would not have happened without our WI Step Therapy Coalition partners and the amazing arthritis Advocates and Ambassadors that stepped up to share their stories through testimony, public media, phone calls and in-person legislative visits in Madison. It was ...more
Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Xiaojuan Li

Researchers on the Path to a Cure – Spotlight on Dr. Xiaojuan Li

Last year we introduced you to Dr. Xiaojuan Li and her Osteoarthritis (OA) Center of Excellence demonstration research project. The project, “Multi-site Multi-Vendor Cross-validation of Cartilage T1rho and T2 imaging”, was completed by investigators from four sites: the Cleveland Clinic Foundation (CCF) in Ohio; the University of California, San Francisco; the University of Kentucky; and the Montefiore Hospital and Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. They worked to quantify biomarker assessments in cartilage images obtained through magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Currently, X‑rays are the “gold standard” for diagnosing OA. However, X-rays are not very sensitive and only show differences ...more
July Is JA Awareness Month: Help Give Kids  the Chance to Feel Included

July Is JA Awareness Month: Help Give Kids the Chance to Feel Included

The school year is an opportunity to enjoy some of the best memories with friends. But for many kids with juvenile arthritis (JA) and other rheumatic conditions, being in school can sometimes bring feelings of isolation. Many kids with JA have never met a friend with the same diagnosis. They never get to take a break from a serious illness that’s often quite painful, makes the immune system go haywire and can be downright lonely at times. Summer break, however, is another story! The Arthritis Foundation provides camp programs and our National Juvenile Arthritis Conference in two locations, giving kids with ...more
Advocates Gather in Harrisburg to Advocate for Patient Protections

Advocates Gather in Harrisburg to Advocate for Patient Protections

In Pennsylvania, we’re working on legislation to streamline patient access to care. And we can’t do it alone. On June 5, Arthritis Foundation Advocates traveled to Harrisburg for a state legislative day. They shared their stories with legislators and asked for support on two important bills. Attendees of the legislative day had a morning training session where they learned about the issues and skills needed for the meetings. They saw how these bills would make a difference for people with arthritis and why it’s important to tell your story to lawmakers. Then they met with elected officials to talk about their ...more
Chicago Area Firefighter Goes All Out to Help Extinguish Arthritis

Chicago Area Firefighter Goes All Out to Help Extinguish Arthritis

Matt Pierce, a 45-year-old firefighter in the Chicago area, is on a mission. After years of participating in the Arthritis Foundation’s Jingle Bell Run with his team, the Red Nosed R-A-ndeers, Matt has set his sights on something quite a bit longer than a 5K: riding his bike 525 miles from San Francisco to Los Angeles this September with the California Coast Classic Bike Tour (CCC). Matt has also committed to raising at least $3,500 for the fight against arthritis, as does every CCC participant. Last year, this flagship fundraising event, presented by Amgen, raised over a million dollars. “I saw a video ...more
Prior Authorization Becomes Law in KY

Prior Authorization Becomes Law in KY

Governor Bevin signs law on March 26, 2019 Imagine you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition like rheumatoid arthritis, which rocks your world and changes life as you have known it. With the help of a good physician, you develop a treatment plan that will hopefully improve your condition and make the tasks of daily life manageable. However, your shock comes when you learn it may take weeks to get approval by your insurance company for your treatment plan to go into effect. The chance looms that you may not get covered. Permanent joint damage can occur while you’re waiting. Patients ask: Who ...more
Decision Aid for Women With Lupus Nephritis

Decision Aid for Women With Lupus Nephritis

Lupus, a chronic, systemic, autoimmune disease, can affect many parts of the body. It affects people of all races and far more women are affected than men. Lupus nephritis (kidney disease) is seen to some degree in about 60% of lupus patients and can lead to kidney failure and the need for dialysis if not treated appropriately. Until recently, there were no patient decision aids available to help those with lupus make medication decisions. With this in mind, researchers at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, working with the Arthritis Foundation and in collaboration with partner researchers from the Lupus Foundation of America, ...more
California Coast Classic Named Best Charity Bike Tour

California Coast Classic Named Best Charity Bike Tour

The Arthritis Foundation’s California Coast Classic (CCC) Bike Tour was recently named Best Charity Bike Tour by the Gran Fondo Guide! Mark Harding, founder of Gran Fondo Guide, North America's largest cycling events site, commented: "Every year we recognize and reward those rides that have innovated, achieved, inspired and encouraged cyclists, supported worthy causes and contributed to the growth of cycling." “Recently, we have seen an increased interest in charity rides, especially multiday events. We considered several factors in choosing the Best Charity Bike Tour, including ride organization; social, community and training aspects available to participants leading up to the tour; participant ...more
Delaware Governor Signs Step Therapy Bill Into Law

Delaware Governor Signs Step Therapy Bill Into Law

It was a historic day for Delaware residents as Gov. John Carney signed the state’s step therapy legislation into law. Sometimes referred to as “fail first,” step therapy is a process insurance companies use to require patients to try and fail on their preferred drugs before getting the medication originally prescribed by their doctor. This can happen in the middle of a plan year, even if a patient is currently stable on the medication. Arthritis Foundation Advocates came to the Statehouse to help pass this legislation. Carol Reilly, chair of the Foundation’s state advocacy committee, testified at both the House and Senate ...more
Reality TV Let Meg Maley Open Up About Living With Psoriatic Arthritis

Reality TV Let Meg Maley Open Up About Living With Psoriatic Arthritis

Meg Maley isn’t one to let an opportunity slip by or negativity dim her joy. If you have any doubt about her optimism, just check the tattoo on her foot: “Always Yes.” That attitude – and maybe her infectious smile – landed her a spot on the CBS reality TV show Big Brother in 2015, which changed the course of her life. But despite her buoyant outlook, “Always Yes” isn’t always easy. Meg, 29, has psoriatic arthritis (PsA), which causes persistent joint pain, bouts of fatigue and vision problems that make it impossible to drive some days. “It’s hard for people to ...more