Minnesota Protects Patients with New Step Therapy Bill

National Psoriasis Foundation Leads Effort to Pass Step Therapy Reform

Portland, Ore. (May 21, 2018) — The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) along with a Minnesota statewide coalition representing those with chronic diseases and health care provider groups applaud Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton (D) in passing HF 3196.

The new law provides patient protections and guardrails on an insurance industry practice known as step therapy, which forces patients to try and fail on one or more medications that insurance companies choose before patients receive the treatment that their health care provider originally prescribed. For patients living with serious or chronic illnesses like psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, prolonging ineffective treatment and delaying access to the right treatment could result in increased disease activity, loss of function and possible irreversible joint damage.

With the passage of HF 3196, starting in January 2019, patients and healthcare providers will have a clear, accessible, and convenient process to override and appeal step therapy protocols when it is not in the best interest of the patient’s health. The new law enables patients the opportunity to access the appropriate drugs originally prescribed to treat their disease faster.

“HF3196 preserves the patient and provider relationship, which is where treatment decisions should be made,” said Patrick Stone, vice president of government relations and advocacy, NPF. “Treating psoriatic disease is unique and complex. What might work for one patient may not work for another. HF3196 allows patients the ability to access the therapies that their health care provider knows will best treat their disease when they are initially prescribed.”

Minnesota joins 18 other states including Texas, New Mexico, Iowa, Indiana, Illinois, and New York, that NPF has worked with to pass step therapy reform. NPF provided training and education around the need for step therapy reform to volunteer advocates and policymakers, was very involved in several negotiations concerning bill language, and led the Minnesota Fail First Lobby Day where 40 advocates from across the state met with lawmakers to discuss the impact of step therapy and the importance of this new legislation.

Recognition and appreciation should also be given to the chief authors of HF 3196, Rep. Kelly Fenton (Dist. 53B), and Sen. Paul Utke (Dist. 02). As well as co-sponsors Rep. Laurie Halverson (Dist. 51B), Rep. Roz Peterson (Dist. 56B), Rep. Debra Kiel (Dist. 01B), Rep. Nick Zerwas (Dist. 30A),  Jim Knoblach (Dist. 14B), Liz Olson (Dist. 07B),  Josh Heintzeman (Dist. 10A), Jason Metsa (Dist. 06B), Tony Jurgens (Dist. 54B), John Poston (Dist. 09A), Peggy Flanagan (Dist. 46A), and Tony Albright (Dist. 55B) for their support.

To achieve this success, NPF worked in coalition with many partners, including the Arthritis Foundation Minnesota, American Diabetes Association Minnesota, American Heart Association Minnesota, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Minnesota/Dakotas Chapter, Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations, Epilepsy Foundation of Minnesota, Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, Global Healthy Living Foundation, International Cancer Advocacy Network, International Pain Foundation, The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Minnesota AIDS Project, Minnesota Independent Physicians Association, Minnesota Medical Association, Minnesota Nurses Association, Minnesota Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Minnesota, National Multiple Sclerosis Society, National Organization for Rare Disorders, U.S. Pain Foundation, Rheumatology Association of Minnesota and the Dakotas, American College of Rheumatology and the Cancer Support Community.

NPF continues to work on behalf of all patients living with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis that cannot afford to delay access to the effective treatments prescribed by their healthcare provider. Placing patient protections and guardrails around step therapy protocols will assist NPF to improve health outcomes for the more than 8 million Americans living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. To learn more about how NPF works to reform step therapy visit www.steptherapy.com

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About the National Psoriasis Foundation

Serving its community through more than 50 years of patient support, advocacy, research funding, and education, the National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) is the world’s leading nonprofit fighting for individuals with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis. The NPF mission is to drive efforts to cure psoriatic disease and dramatically improve the lives of more than 8 million Americans affected by this chronic immune-mediated disease. As part of that effort, NPF created its Patient Navigation Center to offer personalized assistance to everyone with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis. To date, NPF has funded more than $19 million in research grants and fellowships that help drive discoveries that may lead to more and better treatments and ultimately a cure. Learn more at www.psoriasis.org.