Category Archives: News

Iowa State Capitol

Victory in Iowa! Governor Branstad Signs into Law a Bill to Curb Step Therapy!

The Iowa arthritis community is celebrating Governor Branstad signing into law House File 233 on May 10, 2017.

The bill, unanimously passed by both chambers, puts limits on an insurance industry protocol known as step therapy which requires patients to try and fail medications identified by the insurance company before agreeing to cover medications prescribed by the treating physician. The bill will increase access to care for arthritis patients by limiting step therapy practices in Iowa.
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Washington DC Arthritis Advocacy Victory

The Nation’s Capital Caps the Out-of-Pocket Costs of Medications

Congratulations D.C. Advocates! Because of your efforts, Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser signed the Specialty Drug Copayment Limitation Act. In the law, “specialty drug” means a prescription drug that is prescribed for a person with a physical, behavioral, or developmental condition that may have no known cure, is progressive, or can be debilitating or fatal if left untreated or undertreated, such as multiple sclerosis, hepatitis C and rheumatoid arthritis.
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West Virginia Step Therapy

Step Therapy Win in West Virginia!

Step therapy is a cost saving tactic used by insurers that requires people with arthritis and other potentially debilitating conditions to try and fail lower-cost medications before covering more expensive treatments. In other words, insurance companies oftentimes disregard treating physicians’ knowledge of their patients and related expertise, forcing patients to try cheaper medications, all to save a few dollars.
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Iowa Biosimilar Substitution Law Signed

Victory in Iowa: Biosimilar Legislation Signed Into Law!

Iowa has recently joined 27 other states that have passed biosimilars legislation.  On behalf of the 619,000 adults (plus 2,800 children) in Iowa with doctor-diagnosed arthritis, we’d like to thank Governor Branstad for signing House File 305 into law on Friday, March 10, 2017.

The bill allows Iowa pharmacists the ability to dispense safe and potentially less expensive biologic medications to patients, by substituting an FDA approved interchangeable biosimilar for a prescribed biologic product.  The law also requires that the prescriber and patient be notified when there is a substitution.
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Montana Biosimilars Victory

Victory in Montana! Governor Bullock Signs Biosimilar Substitution

For years now, many arthritis patients have utilized biologic medications to great effect. Biologics have allowed those with arthritis, as well as many other chronic diseases, to stabilize their condition and help them better quality lives. Now, due to innovation, new medications are coming to market which could provide arthritis patients with more, and potentially less expensive, options. These new medications are called “biosimilar” medications which are similar to, but not exact copies of name brand biologics.
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Arthritis 101 Congressional Briefing

Arthritis 101 and Prescription for Access – Making Sure Your Voice is Heard!

Arthritis knows no political affiliation. It affects more than 50 million adults and an estimated 300,000 kids in the U.S., regardless of where they live or for whom they voted. We want to assure you that your voice is being heard by both Republicans and Democrats, especially as lawmakers consider changes to our healthcare system.
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New York Arthritis Biosimilars

New York Step Therapy Reform Legislation Signed into Law by Governor Cuomo

As we ring in the new year, we celebrate a major step therapy legislative win in New York! An increasing number of health insurers around the country are utilizing fail first or step therapy practices that require patients to try and fail one or more formulary medications before providing coverage for the originally prescribed non-formulary medication. Rather than taking into account the needs of the individual patient, insurers are determining drug sequences based on cost. These practices can vary wildly insurer to insurer with no consistency on how to establish or apply these fail first protocols.
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Medicare Part B Demonstration Proposal Withdrawn

Victory – Medicare Part B Demonstration Proposal Withdrawn!

Arthritis Advocate Medicare Part B Demonstration Proposal
Arthritis Foundation Advocate, Amy Barron, along with Senator Rob Portman (R-OH).

Amy Barron lives with rheumatoid arthritis and osteoporosis. Her treatment includes biologic infusions that are administered under careful supervision by her physician. When Amy receives her infusion, she is in a familiar environment – her rheumatologist’s office – and her care is supervised by someone who knows her unique medical history, understands the complicated nature of her condition and can monitor her treatment and knowingly respond to adverse reactions.
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21st Century Cures Act Signed into Law

President Obama Signs 21st Century Cures Act Into Law

obama-21st-century-curesDescribing it as “…an opportunity to save lives, an opportunity we just can’t miss,” President Barack Obama signed the 21st Century Cures Act into law earlier today.

As we shared with you just last week, the Act recently passed the House of Representatives and the Senate after years of work at the ground level to make its passage today a reality.
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