The Arthritis Foundation reached a milestone in September, securing our 100th state legislative victory since 2014! Congratulations Advocates!! All of these victories were made possible due to all of you!
Our victories occurred in 47 states plus Washington, DC, impacting more than 50 million people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, and have focused on many patient access to care issues like:
- Step Therapy: Requires a patient to try a lower cost drug for a specific period of time before a higher cost drug is considered.
- Prior Authorization: Requires a provider to obtain approval before prescribing a new drug.
- Biosimilar Substitution: Requires that communication occurs between pharmacy, physician and patient before substitution of a biologic.
Why are each of these victories so important?
Our Advocates have shared with us that access to insurance coverage is one of their top three priorities. Patients should be able to access the medications best suited to treat their disease and should be able to remain on those medications.
The Power of an Advocate’s Voice
Since 2014, we have witnessed Advocates – young and old – make a difference by telling their arthritis story. Barrett, one of our youngest advocates to testify at age 6, made such an impact that during one committee hearing – all of the members sang Happy Birthday to him and voted our bill out of committee. This bill was ultimately signed into law later that year. We’ve also partnered with healthcare providers, who were able to share with legislators how these legislative bills will help their patients access the right treatment, based on their clinical expertise.
Not only have our Advocates testified, they have attended State Legislative Days, written op-eds for newspapers, sent emails, participated in social media, made phone calls and legislative visits to their legislators. One of our Advocates even ran into their legislator at a community chili dinner!
Congratulations to all of our Advocates on this fantastic achievement! If you would like to read more details about our state victories, visit the Arthritis Foundation’s Advocacy Blog.
View and Download Our State Victories Map Below!
Now that we’ve had these victories, what is next?
We will continue to advocate each year in state capitols across the country, along with educating patients on these new protections through our new State of Your Health website. Here you will find information on new state laws, along with educational resources.
Additionally, our Advocates will continue to be involved as we build out our 2019 state advocacy program with the ultimate goal of reaching all 50 states and making sure that patients have access to the most appropriate and affordable care.
You can learn more about advocacy and amplifying your voice by becoming an Arthritis Foundation Advocate! Sign up today!