Every year, the State Government Relations team travels across the country to educate state lawmakers on the barriers people with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis face when they’re trying to get the care they need – especially when they must fight harmful step therapy practices.
(Step therapy allows insurance companies to require patients to try and fail less costly medications until they can receive the right treatment prescribed by their doctors.)
And boy, did we have a busy March! Not only were we in Washington, D.C., lobbying on the Hill with our patient advocates, we were also in Des Moines, Iowa, where we urged state lawmakers to introduce legislation that will curb step therapy protocols.
On March 15, multiple patient advocacy groups including the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), the Arthritis Foundation, the Multiple Sclerosis Society–Iowa, the American Cancer Society and the National Psoriasis Foundation joined the Iowa Medical Society to lobby state lawmakers on the impact of step therapy and “fail first” insurance policies. We also asked them to bring both the House and Senate bills to the floor.
The day opened with a training session and overview of activities. The coalition then hosted a media advisory with our patient advocates.
This was a great opportunity for NPF because one of our patient advocates, Cynthia Heaton, was selected for an interview with NBC-TV’s Des Moines affiliate. Heaton shared a moving story about her son’s struggle with step therapy, and the clip ran that night.
The coalition had the chance to meet with more than 30 lawmakers. We appreciated their time and willingness to listen to our stories. By the end of the event, we knew we were successful because we had helped members of the Iowa State Legislature understand what happens to our community when they are subjected to step therapy protocols.
Here’s a look at our recent attempts to curb step therapy:
Ohioans for Step Therapy Reform Advocacy Day
Texas Step Therapy Lobby Day
Ready to help support our efforts to reduce step therapy in your state? Please contact State Government Relations Manager MaryAnn McCabe at firstname.lastname@example.org 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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