Every year, NPF brings patients, providers and researchers to Capitol Hill to advocate on behalf of people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. This year’s Capitol Hill Day, which took place March 16, was a whirlwind of meetings with members of Congress and staff. Our group of 25 advocates comprised delegates from 20 congressional districts.
In 49 separate meetings, NPF’s advocates asked members of Congress to cosponsor the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act (PATA, H.R. 1600) and sign a letter supporting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s public health agenda for psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
PATA will limit out-of-pocket costs for vital medication and help ensure that psoriatic disease patients have access to therapies they need. The public health agenda will put funds toward developing self-management interventions for people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis and researching psoriatic disease comorbidities.
As a result of the Capitol Hill Day—and NPF’s ongoing efforts pounding the Hill—10 Senators and 23 House Members signed onto the letter.
Step therapy wins at the state level
Three states so far have passed NPF’s model step therapy bill. Thanks to efforts from NPF’s state advocacy team, California, Indiana and West Virginia now have laws on the books that will pave the way for doctors to fight step therapy decisions made by insurers, and improve health outcomes for the combined 1,181,575 people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis in those states.
Read more about step therapy here.
The state advocacy team has also been working diligently to pass biosimilar substitution legislation across the country, which ensures that a pharmacist must communicate to patients and their doctors if they switch a biologic drug for a biosimilar. The bill, which balances safety concerns and access issues, has already passed in 31 states and Puerto Rico.
NPF wants all lawmakers to hear from patients and providers. If you wish to share a story related to access to care or treatment, email NPF State Government Relations Manager Amy Prentice.
Patrick Stone is the Associate Director, State Government Relations for the National Psoriasis Foundation
Driving discovery, creating community
For more than 50 years, we’ve been driving efforts to cure psoriatic disease and improve the lives of those affected. But there’s still plenty to do! Learn how you can help our advocacy team shape the laws and policies that affect people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis – in your state and across the country. Help us raise funds to support research by joining Team NPF, where you can walk, run, cycle, play bingo or create your own fundraising event. If you or someone you love needs free, personalized support for living a healthier life with psoriatic disease, contact our Patient Navigation Center. And keep the National Psoriasis Foundation going strong by making a donation today. Together, we will find a cure.