Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition: Step therapy legislation passes Assembly Committee on Health — bill joins companion Senate legislation for expected vote by both houses soon

CONTACT: Angie Thies – National Psoriasis Foundation
State Govt. Relations Manager
614.208.3794 / athies@psoriasis.org

AB24 and SB26 pass committees in both houses unanimously and will update insurer policy that currently delays access to provider-prescribed medications

MADISON, WI (May 9, 2019) – The Wisconsin State Assembly’s Committee on Health has voted unanimously to advance Assembly Bill 24 (AB24) to the full Assembly, according to the Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition – a statewide organization representing individuals with chronic diseases and health care providers. The bill, which would put commonsense patient protections in place to improve the step therapy process, joins a companion state senate measure (SB26) that also passed unanimously in the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services earlier this week. Both bills with bipartisan support are now expected to move quickly for full legislative votes in both houses.

“We commend members of the Assembly Committee on Health for recognizing that the step therapy process in Wisconsin needs to be improved and taking this important vote today.” Said Angie Thies, state government relations manager for the National Psoriasis Foundation and Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition leader.  “Transparency and access to appropriate medications is extremely important to those with chronic conditions. We are thankful to all of the many stakeholders, including insurers, providers and patient organizations, who worked together to move these commonsense patient protections towards reality. The bipartisan legislative support has been tremendous and we are hopeful that both bills will pass quickly so that Governor Evers can sign the important patient protections into law and individuals across Wisconsin can get the right medication at the right time.”

Assembly Committee on Health members voting unanimously for the step therapy legislation (AB24) in bipartisan support included: Chair Rep. Joe Sanfelippo (R – New Berlin); Vice Chair Rep. Tony Kurtz (R – Wonewoc); Rep. Jessie Rodriguez (R – Oak Creek); Rep. James Edming (R – Glen Flora); Rep. Ken Skowronski (R – Franklin); Rep. Chuck Wichgers (R – Muskego); Rep. David Murphy (R – Greenville); Rep. Nancy VanderMeer (R- Tomah); Rep. Mary Felzkowski (R – Irma); Rep. Gae Magnafici (R – Dresser); Rep. Debra Kolste (D – Janesville); Rep. Daniel Riemer (D – Milwaukee); Rep. Lisa Subeck (D – Madison); Rep. Jimmy Anderson (D – Fitchburg) and Rep. Robyn Vining (D – Wauwatosa).

Earlier in the week, the Senate Committee on Health and Human Services offered bipartisan support by also voting unanimously to move step therapy legislation (SB26) forward. Members of that committee include Chair Sen. Patrick Testin (R – Stevens Point); Vice Chair Sen. Dale Kooyenga (R – Brookfield); Sen. André Jacque (R – De Pere); Sen. Jon Erpenbach (D – West Point) and Sen. Tim Carpenter (D – Milwaukee).

The bills do not ban the practice of step therapy, but instead, incorporate protections allowing patients and providers to gain direct access to the right medication at the right time for the patient, according to the coalition.​

The Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition has commended chief authors of the legislation Rep. John Nygren (R – Marinette), Rep. Loren Oldenburg (R – Viroqua), Sen. Alberta Darling (R – River Hills) and Sen. André Jacque (R – De Pere) for supporting those with chronic illnesses and health care providers around the state.

Those interested in supporting the Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition effort can follow the coalition onFacebook, Twitter @WIStepTherapy and are encouraged to contact their local legislators.

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.

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