In a strong show of bipartisanship, the U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate overwhelmingly passed two pieces of legislation at the end of September that would make it easier for pharmacists to tell patients about their payment options at the pharmacy counter.
Beginning last spring, the Arthritis Foundation led the charge by building support in Congress and among other patient and provider organizations about the importance of this legislation. The bills moved quickly through the legislative process thanks to the strength of Arthritis Foundation Advocates and Ambassadors, who called on their members of Congress to vote in favor of the legislation by sharing their stories.
Continue reading Congress Said Yes! to Transparency at the Pharmacy Counter
On May 19, Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton signed HB 3196 into law! Step therapy legislation gives physicians a clear path toward getting their patients the medications they need.
Having access to affordable, effective and specialized medication is critical for the 54 million Americans living with doctor-diagnosed arthritis nationwide, including over 900,000 in Minnesota. The Arthritis Foundation thanks the bill’s sponsors and Gov. Dayton for helping provide these patient protections to Minnesotans.
Step Therapy is a practice used by insurers that requires people with arthritis to try lower-cost medications before allowing more expensive treatments, despite a physician’s recommendation.
Continue reading MN Governor Dayton Signs Legislation for Step Therapy Guardrails
One week ago, the House Energy and Commerce Committee unanimously approved the bipartisan 21st Century Cures Act 51-0. The legislation will “help to modernize and personalize health care, encourage greater innovation, support research, and streamline the system to deliver better, faster cures to more patients.”
The Arthritis Foundation and its volunteers have been actively involved in pushing this legislation forward, sending letters to key parties and making visits to the Hill in support of the initiative.
The most recent version of the 21st Century Cures legislation includes three new provisions that are important to the Arthritis Foundation and the arthritis community, covering topics ranging from easing restrictions on off-label uses of drugs to including age groupings in research studies, along with a provision that addresses the extension of exclusivity periods, which is important to ensure even those with rare diseases gain access to top-notch treatments and care.
Continue reading Arthritis Foundation Continues the Dialog on Capitol Hill to Remove Barriers to Care!