Category Archives: Policy Priorities

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Medicare Part B Demonstration Proposal Withdrawn

Victory – Medicare Part B Demonstration Proposal Withdrawn!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Continue reading Victory – Medicare Part B Demonstration Proposal Withdrawn!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

Arthritis Patients Access Treatment

Arthritis Foundation Meets with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services & America’s Health Insurance Plans to Continue the Fight in Improving Patient Access

Our work in identifying and addressing issues that are affecting your access to care and drug costs continued this past month as we met with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), and America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP).
Continue reading Arthritis Foundation Meets with Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services & America’s Health Insurance Plans to Continue the Fight in Improving Patient Access

Medicare Part B Demonstration Proposal Withdrawn

21st Century Cures Act Passes House of Representatives – A Big Win for the Arthritis Community

Thanks in large part to the hard work of our Advocates, the 21st Century Cures Act passed the House of Representatives on Nov. 30, clearing a major hurdle as the bill moves closer to enactment. If enacted, this comprehensive bill will improve access to life-changing care through several initiatives including: Continue reading 21st Century Cures Act Passes House of Representatives – A Big Win for the Arthritis Community

Advocate for Arthritis August Recess

Arthritis Advocates Meet with Members of Congress During August Recess: Push for Support of the Ensuring Access to Children’s Specialty Care Act

Every summer Congress takes a break and each member of Congress departs Washington, D.C. for their home district. This break dates back to a time when most members of Congress had other responsibilities back home, most notably returning to their farms for harvest. The break, often referred to as August Recess, has evolved into an opportunity for the members to head home and meet with their constituents.
Continue reading Arthritis Advocates Meet with Members of Congress During August Recess: Push for Support of the Ensuring Access to Children’s Specialty Care Act

Arthritis Step Therapy Illinois

Victory in Illinois! Bill to Curb Step Therapy Signed into Law by Governor Bruce Rauner!

Imagine going to your healthcare provider and being told that your medication is no longer covered by your insurance. Kim and Gary Kitowski, of Columbia, IL, have faced that reality more than once. Kim, an Arthritis Foundation Ambassador, has lived with arthritis for more than 30 years and her husband, Gary, was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis eight years ago. Because of step therapy, both have fought for access to medications that were prescribed by their doctors.
Continue reading Victory in Illinois! Bill to Curb Step Therapy Signed into Law by Governor Bruce Rauner!