In March, we traveled to Iowa to explain to lawmakers the problems step therapy poses for people with psoriatic disease. Also known as “fail first,” this policy gives insurers all the power.
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.
Fail First: Advocacy in Iowa
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, had 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. Members of the Iowa State Legislature understood 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:
Read more step therapy news and join us today. 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 to get involved!