Category Archives: Policy Priorities

california-advocacy-summit

California Advocates Work for Passage of Bill That Will Improve Continuity of Care When Insurance Carrier Changes

It’s not uncommon for patients to change their insurance carriers. Sometimes it’s by choice, perhaps because they find a carrier that better suits their needs. Other times, it might be out of their control, like when their employment changes. Regardless of why carriers are changed, should patients be required to restart the utilization management process with their new insurance carrier, essentially starting over and potentially undoing years of effective and consistent care? Continue reading California Advocates Work for Passage of Bill That Will Improve Continuity of Care When Insurance Carrier Changes

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

ICER RA Treatment Review

Arthritis Foundation Leads the Way in Patient Engagement with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review

On Friday March 24, after many months of review, the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER) held a public meeting in Boston, MA to discuss evidence findings on treatments for rheumatoid arthritis (RA). ICER is a non-profit organization that reviews the effectiveness of medications and their costs.
Continue reading Arthritis Foundation Leads the Way in Patient Engagement with the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review

Pennsylvania Capitol Day

35 Attend Capitol Day in Pennsylvania Advocating for Prior Authorization and Copay Cap Bills

Families, physicians and patients gathered in Harrisburg, PA on March 28 to learn more about potential legislation that could affect access to care and meet with their legislators to enlist their help. They shared their stories with legislators and asked them to cosponsor the prior authorization bill and the copay cap bill. It was an impactful day of relationship building using personal stories to communicate the urgent need for support and passage of these bills.
Continue reading 35 Attend Capitol Day in Pennsylvania Advocating for Prior Authorization and Copay Cap Bills

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.
Continue reading Step Therapy Win in West Virginia!

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.
Continue reading Victory in Iowa: Biosimilar Legislation Signed Into Law!

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.
Continue reading Victory in Montana! Governor Bullock Signs Biosimilar Substitution

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.
Continue reading Victory – Medicare Part B Demonstration Proposal Withdrawn!

Ohio Arthritis Biosimilars

Ohio Biosimilar Substitution bill signed into Law by Governor Kasich

Imagine that your pharmacist substituted the biologic drug prescribed by your physician for a different drug, an interchangeable biologic product, without your physician being informed. For many people in Ohio who are taking biologic drugs, this scary scenario was a potential reality.
Continue reading Ohio Biosimilar Substitution bill signed into Law by Governor Kasich

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.
Continue reading President Obama Signs 21st Century Cures Act Into Law