biosimilars substitution victory

Biosimilar Substitution Victories Across the Country!

The Arthritis Foundation thanks the governors in eight states for signing biosimilar legislation in 2018 that enhances patient access to new and innovative medications, while ensuring that pharmacists are communicating critical, up-to-date medical information about patients to physicians. New laws in Connecticut, Michigan, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Vermont, Wyoming, West Virginia and Wisconsin will positively impact approximately 5.3 million people with doctor-diagnosed arthritis.

“This legislation will grant access to life-changing medications while ensuring proper safeguards for both patient and physician when a prescription is substituted,” said Connecticut Advocacy Chair Paula Haney.

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take care premium increases

TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

Premium Increases

We’re excited to continue our advocacy blog series meant to help you take care when it comes to important arthritis health care and coverage issues. If you are just now tuning into this series, check out our previous blog posts on accumulator adjustment programs, pharmacist gag orders, President Trump’s drug pricing blueprint and drug rebates.

This week we are focusing on the rise in premiums for health plans sold on the Affordable Care Act exchanges. Read on to learn more about how these increases may or may not impact your health insurance options. Continue reading TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

drug rebates header

TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

Drug Rebates 

We’re excited to continue our advocacy blog series meant to help you take care when it comes to important arthritis health care and coverage issues. If you are just now tuning into this series, check out our previous blog posts on accumulator adjustment programs, pharmacist gag orders, and President Trump’s drug pricing blueprint.

This week we dig in to the world of drug rebates, which are often negotiated between pharmaceutical manufacturers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). Read on to learn more about how drug rebates play a role in the drug supply chain and impact access to medications.

Continue reading TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

president trump drug pricing blueprint

TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

President Trump’s Drug Pricing Blueprint

We’re excited to continue our advocacy blog series meant to help you take care when it comes to important arthritis health care and coverage issues. If you are just now tuning into this series, check out our previous blog posts on accumulator adjustment programs and pharmacist gag orders.

This week, read on to learn more about President Trump’s drug pricing blueprint and the different policy areas that the plan addresses.

Why did the Administration decide to release a drug pricing blueprint?

On Friday, May 11 the Administration released its long-awaited plan, “Putting Patients First,” intended to help lower drug prices and reduce out-of-pocket costs for patients. President Trump has spoken at length about the need to tackle prescription drug prices, and the blueprint released last week was an effort to follow through on that promise.

In response to the blueprint, the Arthritis Foundation released a brief statement on social media, expressing cautious optimism, but urging thoughtful development of proposals going forward.

Continue reading TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

arthritis foundation advocacy clawbacks

TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

Pharmacy Benefit Manager Gag Orders and Clawbacks

We’re excited to present our second blog in a series meant to help you take care when it comes to important arthritis health care and coverage issues. This week we’ll tell you about a practice some pharmacy benefit managers have been using called clawbacks, which affect the price of medications you pay at the pharmacy counter. Read on to learn more and see how the Arthritis Foundation is addressing the issue.

What are clawbacks?

A person who fills his or her prescription at the pharmacy may pay more for a prescription drug with insurance than if he or she had filled it without insurance. This can occur due to a “clawback,” a term used to describe the difference between the cash cost of a drug (purchasing a drug without insurance) and the copayment required by your health plan. That difference, the clawback, is often passed by the pharmacy back to the pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) as a profit. Unfortunately, this often occurs without the patient ever knowing they could avoid the higher copay by paying without insurance. A provision in the contract between the pharmacist and the PBM, known as a “gag order,” prohibits the pharmacist from disclosing cost information related to payment options.

Continue reading TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

accumulator adjustment programs

TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

Accumulator Adjustment Programs

We’re excited to present a new advocacy blog series meant to help you take care when it comes to important arthritis health care and coverage issues. Over the next two months, we’ll post a blog every other week to help patients like you know what access issues we are watching and what you can do about them. This week we’ll tell you about a new policy many pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) are using called accumulator adjustment programs, which could especially impact people in high deductible health plans. Read on to learn more about these programs and why they are being implemented. Continue reading TAKE CARE: Advocacy Blog Series

arthritis foundation platinum ambassador assembly

2018 Arthritis Platinum Ambassador Assembly Makes a Big Impact

Scores of the most passionate and vocal champions of the arthritis community recently descended on the nation’s capital to hone their advocacy skills and share their personal stories with each other and with their members of Congress. Attended by nearly 130 participants from 32 states, the Arthritis Foundation’s new Platinum Ambassadors Assembly was held March 12-13.

Platinum Ambassadors are top grassroots volunteers who complete six annual advocacy assignments and raise at least $1,000 to support the Foundation’s mission to conquer and cure arthritis. Forty-eight of our fifty-one Platinum Ambassadors participated in the first-of-its-kind event, along with 25 Junior Ambassadors, young people ages 13 to 17 who speak out for the estimated 300,000 kids in the U.S. who battle arthritis. Also attending were 30 future advocacy leaders, highly-engaged Arthritis Foundation volunteers who have committed to achieving Platinum Ambassador status in 2018.

Continue reading 2018 Arthritis Platinum Ambassador Assembly Makes a Big Impact

2018 Platinum Ambassador Assembly Highlights

Platinum Ambassador Assembly – Highlights from Capitol Hill

Earlier this week, we held our first ever Platinum Ambassador Assembly in Washington, D.C. The Assembly is a meeting for our most highly engaged advocacy volunteers to hone their skills, meet other Platinum Ambassadors from around the country and share their stories with members of Congress. Our Junior Ambassadors and future leaders – volunteers committed to achieving Platinum Ambassador status in 2018 – were also in attendance to learn, share their stories and fight for the over 54 million Americans who are living with arthritis.
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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.

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

platinum ambassador assembly social media campaign

Show Us How YOU #AdvocateforArthritis

Platinum Ambassador Assembly Social Campaign

Did you know that the first ever Platinum Ambassador Assembly is taking place in Washington, DC this March 12-13? There, our most highly engaged grassroots Ambassadors will gather together to be the voice for arthritis on Capitol Hill.

We’re calling on you to help amplify the voice of our Platinum Ambassador Assembly by participating virtually in our #AdvocateforArthritis social media campaign on Tuesday, March 13. On that day Platinum Ambassador Assembly participants will be on Capitol Hill to meet their elected officials and their staff in person to discuss legislative priorities like reforming burdensome step therapy practices, addressing the pediatric rheumatologist shortage, and even securing funding for research for a cure!

Continue reading Show Us How YOU #AdvocateforArthritis