Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition: Step therapy legislation passes Senate Health and Human Services Committee – headed to full Senate soon

CONTACT:

Angie Thies – National Psoriasis Foundation

State Govt. Relations Manager

614.208.3794 / athies@psoriasis.org

SB26 updates insurer policy that currently delays access to provider-prescribed medications

MADISON, WI (May 7, 2019) – The Wisconsin State Senate’s Health and Human Services Committee has voted unanimously to advance Senate Bill 26 (SB26) to the Senate following an executive session on the matter, 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, is now expected to move quickly to a full Senate vote.

“We applaud the Senators on the committee for recognizing that the practice of step therapy, as it exists now in Wisconsin, must be changed so those facing chronic and progressive diseases don’t have to suffer needlessly by trying and failing first at multiple medications before getting the ones their doctors have prescribed,” said Angie Thies, state government relations manager for the National Psoriasis Foundation and Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition leader. “This is about fairness and access to appropriate medications. The many stakeholders involved in bringing this legislation to this point, including insurers, providers and patient organizations agree—it’s time to improve the step therapy process for Wisconsin patients.”

The legislation does not ban the practice of step therapy, but instead, incorporates protections allowing patients and providers to gain direct access to the right medication at the right time for the patient, according to the coalition. SB26 and Assembly companion bill AB24 have received growing bipartisan support since being introduced.

The Wisconsin Step Therapy Coalition praised 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 on Facebook, 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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