shanna new mexico legislation

NM Governor Martinez Signs Senate Bill 11 into Law to Curb Step Therapy

On Wednesday, February 28th, New Mexico joined 17 other states across the country in passing legislation to curb step therapy. Senate Bill 11, which was signed into law by New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, reforms the process that forces patients to try drugs that insurance companies choose, making patients “fail first” before the patient gets to use the medicine that their doctor originally prescribed.

Step therapy is an insurance practice that requires patients to use a lower-cost drug before permitting more expensive drugs – regardless of what your doctor prescribed. This may occur even if you are already taking that pricier medication and doing well on it.  Senate Bill 11 placed limits on this practice and helps get the right medicine to patients faster.

The Arthritis Foundation is thrilled that additional patient protections now exist in New Mexico and thank all legislators, specifically bill sponsors Senators Liz Stefanics, Gay Kernan and Representatives Liz Thomson, Monica Youngblood, and the governor for their support of this important bill.

The Arthritis Foundation was part of a coalition in New Mexico that was made up of approximately 25 patient and provider groups. Arthritis Foundation Advocates played an instrumental role by testifying on the bill and being featured in the Albuquerque Journal.

Katelyn Burd new mexico
Katelyn Burd

Katelyn, a special education teacher from Albuquerque, has rheumatoid arthritis.  She testified on this bill as she wants the treatment plan to continue to be between her and her doctor.  You can read more about Katelyn’s story in an Albuquerque Journal article.

Shanna, who has severe rheumatoid arthritis, wrote a letter to the editor in the Albuquerque Journal, and testified this session about her step therapy experiences.  She was forced to take an older, less expensive medication that was not recommended by her rheumatologist but was required by her insurance company.  She had to then endure unnecessary pain for upwards of 9 months before the recommended medication was finally approved.

Both Katelyn and Shanna were ecstatic that this bill was signed into law by Governor Martinez.

Shanna Jarrett new mexico
Shanna Jarrett

Katelyn shares: “As a special education teacher, I need to be “on” all the time for the students who need a stable presence in their lives. I can’t afford to lose time with my students due to bad side effects from the wrong medication.  Thank you for signing this bill into law!”

Shanna says, “I am thankful that others won’t have to go through the same ordeal that I did now that New Mexico passed this bill into law.  Thank you for your dedication to New Mexico patients!”

If you have a step therapy story, we want to hear from you. 

You can learn more about advocacy and amplifying your voice by becoming an Arthritis Foundation Advocate! Sign up today!

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2 thoughts on “NM Governor Martinez Signs Senate Bill 11 into Law to Curb Step Therapy

  1. I am currently in a real battle with my HMO. While this is not arthritis related, they have taken the only insulin I can use in my insulin pump and moved it to an unaffordable tier. There are only three meds approved for pumps, and I have a severe and dangerous allergy to the one they are forcing patients to use. My efforts so far have gone nowhere. The Grievance board merely spit my handbook back at me. The real issue though, is that they put formulary changes for some meds, but not all, on the web site before 2018 health exchange enrollment ended. The insulin change was not there. I selected the plan and found out in January that my insulin had been pushed to $100 per vial. This may not be entirely what the Arthritis foundation has been working on, but it’s pretty close and, it is very scary and unacceptable. Thus far I have found no help for the problem.

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