Exciting news in Texas! On May 23, Governor Greg Abbott signed Senate Bill 680 into law, limiting the use of step therapy. Texas now joins a growing number of states that have enacted laws that regulate the use of step therapy. With over 4 million adults and 24,900 kids with doctor-diagnosed arthritis in Texas, this is a major victory!
Step therapy is used by health insurance providers to control the order and use of prescriptions drugs. A patient could be required to try and fail lower-cost or other drugs selected by their insurance provider before coverage is granted for the drug prescribed by the patient’s treating physician. For patients, this barrier to care prevents timely access to doctor prescribed treatments and can be the difference between full mobility and joint damage. Continue reading Victory in Texas – Legislation Limits Step Therapy→
We applaud Maryland Governor Larry Hogan for joining 28 other states in creating a pathway for the substitution of biologic medications with biosimilars by signing the Pharmacists – Substitution and Dispensing of Biological Products bill into law.
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→
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 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!→
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→
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!→