Tag Archives: Oklahoma

New Step Therapy Reform Law in Oklahoma

The Arthritis Foundation is happy to announce that the Oklahoma legislature passed a new law this month that will protect Oklahomans who are living with arthritis.

The new OK law will reform step therapy. Also known as “fail first,” step therapy is a process that forces patients to try and fail drugs that insurance companies choose before the patient gets to use the medicine their doctor originally prescribed. This may occur even if you are already taking a medication and doing well on it.

Oklahoma Junior Ambassador and AFJROTC member, Brianna Sommers, attended the Arthritis Foundation’s February Legislative Day and was instrumental in passing the step therapy reform bill.

“We did not know at the time of my first diagnosis that step therapy would be the cause of the majority of my pain.

“I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and fibromyalgia at age 9. I went through years of my doctors having to make me try and fail multiple drugs, due to step therapy practices.

“Doctors are the medical experts and allowing an insurance company to control what medications a physician is able to prescribe is life-threatening. When I heard about the OK step therapy reform bill, I knew I needed to get involved. I needed to not only do it for myself, but I also needed to help others like me.

“I was a part of a group of kids who had cancer, disorders and other life-threatening illnesses, and I thought about how many of those kids were being asked to take unnecessary medications and procedures due to step therapy. When you are dealing with children, sometimes time is of the essence. I’m just glad I could make a difference.” 
–Brianna Sommers, Junior Ambassador from Choctaw

Senate Bill 509 places limits on step therapy and helps get the right medicine to patients faster. The new law was introduced by Sen. Dave Rader and Reps. Cyndi Munson and Jon Echols, and we are so appreciative of their leadership. This is a major victory for all Oklahoma Advocates. Let’s keep up our momentum!

Help us raise awareness about the importance of step therapy reform at the federal level. Ask your member of Congress to support the Safe Step Act. Take action today!

For more information about how to get involved with advocacy in Oklahoma, please contact Kristen Crawford at kcrawford@arthritis.org