Editor’s Note: The U.S. Pain Foundation released the following press release yesterday. National Pain Report supports the US Pain Foundation and we believe this is worth sharing with as many people as possible.
Middletown, CT, May 11, 2017 – Through the efforts of advocates and patient organizations who formed the Iowa Fail First Coalition, of which U.S. Pain Foundation is a member, Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad has signed into law a bill which allows clinicians and patients a clear process to override the fail first protocol, also known as step therapy.
Currently, insurers in Iowa can force a patient to “fail first” on a series of less expensive and potentially inferior medications before receiving the therapy option originally prescribed by their clinician. By turning HF 233 into law, a health insurance carrier must now provide the prescribing health care professional and covered individual access to a clear, accessible and convenient process to request a step therapy override exception.
“By signing this much-needed bill into law, Gov. Branstad is sending the message to Iowa chronic pain patients that their lives matter and they deserve timely access to effective treatments to manage their condition,” said founder and president of U.S. Pain Foundation, Paul Gileno. “We believe every individual, whether a person living with chronic pain or another chronic condition, should have the opportunity to receive the treatment that the individual’s doctor feels is therapeutically necessary, without interference from insurance companies.”
The new law, effective Jan. 1, 2018, will not eliminate fail first/step therapy practices, but rather deters the harmful practice through the inclusion of safeguards surrounding an exceptions process. It will not prohibit a health carrier from requiring beneficiaries to try a generic version of medications, only completely different medications.
“We know that without protections, fail first/step therapy can lead to significant negative consequences for a person living with pain, or any Iowa resident on a prescription treatment to manage their health condition,” added Gileno. “We thank Gov. Branstad for turning into law a sound bill that encourages patient stability and improved health outcomes.”