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 protected].
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.