West Virginia Passes State Law to Limit Step Therapy Protocols

Portland, Ore. (April 3, 2017)—With the leadership of West Virginia House of Delegates member John R. Kelly (R-10), both the West Virginia Senate and the House of Delegates supported limiting step therapy protocols by passing House Bill 2300. Governor Jim Justice Jr. signed the bill into law on Thursday March 30, 2017.

The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) worked closely with Del. Kelly to outline the burdens step therapy protocols have on psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis patients and the cost savings to patients and the health care system by providing exceptions to these protocols based on what is medically appropriate. Step therapy, or “fail first,” protocols allow a patient’s insurance company to require they fail on less costly medications before receiving the initial treatment prescribed by their doctor. Unfortunately, this form of therapy is often not effective and ultimately causes more hardship for the patient. Requiring a patient to take ineffective therapies for a prolonged period as they go through the step therapy process could lead to irreversible disease progression, lengthy hospital stays and other harmful side effects. As the result of the passage of the bill, starting in 2018, patients across the state will now have confidence knowing that the effective medications their health care providers prescribe to treat their psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis will not be denied by their insurance provider.

For patients with a chronic disease like psoriasis or psoriatic arthritis, it is critical they take their medication consistently. Step therapy protocols could cause a patient to stop taking their medication due to the extra costs and lack of effectiveness the medications have on treating their disease.

The adoption of this law in West Virginia is an important milestone for patients in the state as well as for NPF’s efforts to ensure treatment decisions to remain between patients and their health care providers. Learn more about NPF's step therapy advocacy efforts at www.steptherapyinfo.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 $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.