A record number of individuals have achieved the Arthritis Foundation’s highest advocacy honor in 2016 and became Platinum Ambassadors. At the 2017 Advocacy Summit, March 6-7, in Washington, DC, 41 new Platinum Ambassadors will be recognized for their outstanding advocacy accomplishments on behalf of the arthritis community.
Platinum Ambassadors are an elite group of Advocates who go above and beyond the call of duty by accomplishing a challenging list of advocacy assignments along with four bonus activities, all while raising funds to support the Foundation’s mission to conquer and cure arthritis.
Recently, the Arthritis Foundation lead the charge in the passage of three new laws in the state of California that will ensure patient care and continue to keep prescription costs low. The laws focused on issues dealing with Biosimilar Substitution, Step Therapy, and controlling out-of-pocket costs for residents of California.
With specific regard to the new legislation regulating the step therapy process, Krystin Herr, vice president of government affairs and advocacy in the pacific region for the Arthritis Foundation, stated, “Many patients with complex chronic conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, do not always fit a ‘one size fits all’ approach to medication. However, step therapy protocols do not reflect that.”
For those living with arthritis and those fighting to conquer it, there are no shortage of barriers, bottlenecks and even days where No becomes the norm. As part of our efforts to fully support the arthritis community and break down those barriers to achieve more moments of Yes, we fight on many levels, including legislative, to make real change that impacts the lives of the over 50 million people living with this disease. Today, we celebrate a big victory for the 5.9 million people (38,000 of whom are children) in California living with arthritis.
Help us win the fight against arthritis! Join the Arthritis Foundation’s army of over 125,000 Advocates and help us make positive changes on Capitol Hill and across the nation. Through powerful grassroots advocacy, our Advocates make their opinions and stories known on numerous arthritis-related policy priorities, including:
Out-of-pocket medication costs
Access to timely, affordable patient care
Research and prevention of arthritis and related diseases
And building a strong Congressional Arthritis Caucus
Thanks to the efforts of Arthritis Foundation Advocates, an amendment that could cut vital arthritis research in the Senate Defense Authorization bill will not go to the floor of the Senate for a vote! Over 58 letters and phone calls were made to senators last week by Arthritis Foundation Advocates to preserve the research program. Last week, Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) filed an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act asking that all research not directly related to deployment, combat, recovery and rehabilitation be defunded. The amendment could have cut some of the arthritis research currently being conducted by the Department of Defense, and made researchers more cautious in the type of research they pursue. Even research that gets funded would have had to go through extra hoops to ensure it is related to specific military functions.