In October 2015, Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed three bills into law that improve access to care for people with psoriatic disease. As the culmination of a months-long effort led by the National Psoriasis Foundation’s advocacy team, passage of the laws marked NPF’s first significant legislative victory at the state level. But the true winners were patients and their health care providers.
The new laws reduce out-of-pocket prescription costs, pave the way for doctors to fight step therapy decisions and require that both doctors and patients be notified when a pharmacist switches a biologic drug for a biosimilar.
And this is just the beginning. With three full-time staff members dedicated to advocating on the state and local level, NPF is poised to engage officials in many more states throughout 2017.
NPF’s state efforts are focused—just as on the federal level—on access issues that will have the most impact on the psoriatic disease community. What stands between your patients and the treatments they need? Survey after survey shows that patients identify cost as a major barrier to treatment. To address this issue, the advocacy team has been working across the country on legislation that would cap the per prescription copay allowable.
In addition, NPF works hard to ensure that the patient-provider relationship remains at the center of all treatment planning. As a result, NPF has emerged as a leader in the legislative effort to ensure step therapy protocols are implemented only when clinically appropriate, and that a clear exception process is in place.
Finally, NPF has taken an active role in legislation regarding the substitution of biosimilar products—and not just in California. This legislation has passed in 26 states so far.
Throughout 2017, you will see NPF engaging legislators in Iowa, Texas, Maine, Georgia, Oregon, Massachusetts and many other states. But legislators need to hear from you too. Working on the front lines of psoriatic disease care and treatment, your expertise and experience make you powerful advocates for patients’ needs.
Your voices as health care providers carry much more weight than any lobbyist’s rhetoric. Should you wish to find out how you can engage legislators on these issues, or if you want to bring a topic to NPF’s attention, please contact Patrick Stone, director of NPF’s state government relations, at email@example.com.