National Psoriasis Foundation to Continue Efforts to Pass Step Therapy Reform in Maine
Maine Governor Paul LePage Vetoes Step Therapy Reform Bill for a Second Time
Portland, Ore. (July 12, 2018)—The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) along with more than two dozen other advocacy organizations have worked for over four years in Maine to pass step therapy reform into law. The legislation, L.D. 1407, would have required health insurers to establish a process for prescription drug, step therapy override exception determinations.
Step therapy, or “fail first,” protocols allow a patient’s insurance company to require they 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.
Carried over from the 2017 legislative session, led by Senator Kimberly Rosen (R) District 40 and received unanimous support from the Committee on Insurance and Financial Services, L.D. 1407 was successfully passed by both the Maine House and Senate. L.D. 1407 aimed to provide patients immediate access to the medications prescribed by their health care providers by guaranteeing a clear and expeditious process to request a step therapy exception when it is not medically appropriate.
Along with NPF, the Maine patient and provider community are disappointed by the decision to veto LD 1407 but are extremely grateful for the support continually seen from various Maine lawmakers. NPF thanks primary bill sponsor Senator Rosen of Hancock and cosponsors Senator Carson of Cumberland, Senator Gratwick of Penobscot, Representative Harlow of Portland, Representative Malaby of Hancock, Representative Pierce of Dresden, Representative Pouliot of Augusta, Representative Sanborn of Portland and Representative Vachon of Scarborough as well as others who voted in support of passage.
Committed to helping ensure a healthier Maine patient population, NPF has been pursuing this particular issue in Maine for four years and will continue to play an integral role in future efforts. Working in coalition with more than two dozen organizations, including ACS-CAN Maine, Arthritis Foundation, AfPA, and Maine Consumers for Affordable Health Care, NPF will continue supporting step therapy override exception rules through ongoing dialogues with the Governor and legislature to educate and negotiate the issue. In the fall, NPF will restart our efforts for the 2019 legislative session.
NPF works on behalf of patients across the country living with psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis that cannot afford to delay access to the effective treatments prescribed by their health care 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 and to join our efforts to reform step therapy visit www.steptherapy.com
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 $21 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.