MADISON, WI (June 18, 2019) – The Wisconsin State Assembly today passed legislation on a unanimous voice vote to improve the insurer process known as step therapy. The Assembly voted to concur with Senate Bill 26 passed on June 5 and marks the second time in two weeks that legislators have reached a unanimous decision on improving step therapy, according to the Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition – a statewide organization representing individuals with chronic disease and health care providers. The bill now heads to the Governor for possible signature.
“We’d like to thank Wisconsin Assembly members for hearing their constituents and realizing patients with chronic, progressive and complex conditions should no longer have to suffer through the step therapy process,” said Angie Thies, state government relations manager for the National Psoriasis Foundation and Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition leader. “Both sides of the aisle agreed that forcing people to try and fail-first on medications other than the ones their doctor prescribed was not only unfair, but in many cases, very harmful to a patient’s health. Now, thanks to this bipartisan effort, protections will be put in place that provide better access for patients to get the right medicine at the right time. Physicians and patients will once again be given a voice in the process and the result will be better health outcomes for all. We are especially thankful to Rep. John Nygren and Rep. Loren Oldenburg, who helped sponsor the legislation. We are hopeful Governor Evers signs this bill into law soon to help Wisconsin patients.”
The coalition indicated the bill does not abolish step therapy, but instead provides strict criteria for when a provider can request an override. Similar step therapy legislation has become law in more than 20 states nationwide.
The Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition also praised Sen. Alberta Darling (R – River Hills) and Sen. André Jacque (R – De Pere) as original sponsors of the bill in the Senate, along with other Democrats and Republicans in both Houses who joined together in supporting those with chronic illnesses and health care providers around the state.
The Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition encourages everyone to contact Governor Tony Evers to request he sign the bill into law soon. For more information, visit the coalition on Facebook and Twitter @WIStepTherapy.
Members of the Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition include: AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin; Allergy & Asthma Network; Alliance for Patient Access; American Academy of Dermatology Association; American Diabetes Association; American College of Rheumatology; American Lung Association in Wisconsin; Arthritis Foundation; Coalition of State Rheumatology Organizations; Coalition of Wisconsin Aging and Health Groups; Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation; Epilepsy Foundation; Global Healthy Living Foundation; Hometown Pharmacy; International Cancer Advocacy Network; International Pain Foundation; Mental Health America of Wisconsin; Multiple Sclerosis Association of America; National Alliance on Mental Illness – Dane County; National Alliance on Mental Illness Wisconsin; National Infusion Center Association; National Multiple Sclerosis Society; National Organization for Rare Disorders; National Psoriasis Foundation; The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society; US Pain Foundation; Wisconsin Academy of Family Physicians; Wisconsin Asthma Coalition; Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association; and the Wisconsin Rheumatology Association.