Step Therapy Reform Becomes Law in Arizona

Portland, Ore., (July 12, 2021) - The National Psoriasis Foundation (NPF) applauds Governor Doug Ducey and the Arizona Legislature for the passage of Senate Bill 1270 (SB 1270) to create step therapy protections. The new law will help the over 174,000 Arizonans living with psoriatic disease access the right treatment at the right time by creating commonsense step therapy guardrails. These protections apply to health insurance policies issued or renewed on or after December 31, 2022.

Step therapy is a utilization management tool used by health insurance companies that requires an individual to try and fail other medications before they can access the treatment originally prescribed by their health care provider. With the passage of SB 1270, Arizona residents will have a pathway to request an exception to mandated step therapy treatments in certain commonsense scenarios, such as when the step therapy drug is contraindicated, expected to be ineffective, or has already been tried and failed by the individual in the past.

Furthermore, the step therapy process will be streamlined with the addition of timelines to ensure patients are not stuck waiting for a determination. The new law requires a health insurer or other utilization review agent to grant or deny a step therapy exception request within 24 hours for exigent circumstances and 72 hours for all other cases.

 The passage of these step therapy protections was 2 years in the making, with Senator Nancy Barto championing the legislation both years. After unanimously passing the Arizona House in 2020, the Senate hearing was put on pause due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, SB 1270 received overwhelming support and passed unanimously in both chambers. Today, Arizona becomes the 30th state to pass step therapy protections and the 4th to pass similar legislation in 2021. 

“We are thrilled that Arizona patients will now have access to a clear, commonsense step therapy exceptions process. On behalf of the psoriatic disease community, I want to extend a heartfelt thank you to Senator Barto for her tireless dedication to this issue and the patient community,” said Kristen Stiffler, state government relations manager at NPF.

NPF continues to work on behalf of all people living with psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis who cannot afford to delay access to the appropriate treatments prescribed by their health care providers. Placing patient protections around step therapy protocols aligns with the aim of NPF to improve health outcomes for the more than 8 million individuals living with psoriatic disease in the U.S. To learn more about how NPF works to reform step therapy visit steptherapy.com.

About the National Psoriasis Foundation

Serving its community through more than 50 years of patient support, advocacy, research, education and funding, 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 individuals in the United States 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 $24 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 psoriasis.org

 

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