More than 100 rheumatology patient advocates, including physicians, health professionals and patients took to Capitol Hill in early September for The American College of Rheumatology’s (ACR) annual Advocates for Arthritis event. Advocates called on legislators to support bills that would reform insurance company medication trial policies (ie: step therapy or “fail first”) and address the rheumatology workforce shortage which jeopardizes timely access to patient care.
The ACR’s advocacy efforts earlier this month were followed by United States Senate introducing the bipartisan Safe Step Act of 2019 (S. 2546), legislation that would place reasonable limits on step therapy, a troubling practice that requires patients to try - and fail - treatments preferred by their insurance company and pharmacy benefits manager before a doctor-prescribed option can be approved. The Safe Step Act, H.R. 2279/S. 2546, builds on reforms passed in 25 states to address this pervasive practice that delays effective care and puts patients at unnecessary risk, but Congressional action is needed to address the use of step therapy in employer-provided plans, which are regulated by federal law.Ask Congress: Support the Safe Step Act (H.R. 2279/S. 2546)
Check out the ACR’s Legislative Action Center here to learn more and support ACR advocacy efforts by having your voice heard in just a few clicks!