Advocates from the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) and Arthritis Foundation (AF) headed to Tallahassee, the Florida state capitol, on April 4 to show their support and advocate for the passage of House Bill 877 and Senate Bill 530. Passing legislation to curb step therapy protocols has been a multi-year effort headed by a large coalition of patient and provider groups. Although it has been a challenging journey, many hope our tireless work in Florida will come to fruition this year.
Indicators show step therapy legislation has a very realistic chance of passage. In Florida, lawmakers are limited in the number of bills they choose to sponsor each session. Discussions by bill sponsors with fellow legislators to gauge interest in step therapy legislation were met with strong support, showing Florida legislators’ increased understanding of the harmful impacts of step therapy and their desire to institute change.
The Florida committee reference process also poses an administrative hurdle. Each bill must successfully pass out of three reference committees, making it a long road just to reach the Senate and/or House floor. This year, we are excited to share, both bills are making quick progress through their reference committees.
House Bill 877 unanimously passed out of the Health Innovation Subcommittee and was allowed to bypass the second reference committee, leaving one final hearing in the House Health & Human Services Committee. Senate Bill 530 also unanimously passed out of its first committee. During our April 4 Advocacy Day in Florida, we were able to attend the second hearing for SB530 in the Senate Judiciary Committee. NPF advocates were excited to stand and wave in show of support. Again, the bill passed unanimously, leaving the Senate Rules Committee as our final stop.
Anticipating this passage, NPF and AF advocates spent the rest of our Advocacy Day meeting with the members of those two final committees, sharing their personal experiences with step therapy and urging the committee members to support these very important bills. NPF advocates visited a total of 18 Senate and House members, with nearly half committing their support.
With Florida legislators’ growing interest in step therapy legislation, the strong backing of patient and provider groups, and years’ worth of education efforts, we are optimistic about limiting step therapy practices in Florida and providing Florida residents managing a chronic or fatal illness the access they need to critical therapies.
Here’s a look at our recent attempts to curb step therapy:
Ready to help support our efforts to reduce step therapy in your state? Please contact State Government Relations Manager Amy Prentice at email@example.com to learn how you can get involved!
The opinions expressed by NPF Blog contributors are their own and do not reflect the opinions or positions of the National Psoriasis Foundation. The information posted on the NPF Blog is not intended as, and is not, a substitute for professional medical advice.
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