Across the nation, lawmakers have been faced with difficult decisions as many states are closed or closing its legislative session. Pain Ambassador Advocates have actively emailed, called and testified on behalf of several bills which would impact the pain community. We thank them for their strength and courage in sharing their pain journey before the legislature. Together, we are making incredible strides for pain warriors.
We are pleased to have learned that Representative David Lewis recently introduced
, Reduces Barriers to Improve NC Health & Safety. If turned into law, this bill will do a few things:
*Specifically prohibits step therapy/fail first in the prescribing of abuse-deterrent opioids.
Abuse-Deterrent Opioids are a new type of medication, an innovative technology that removes the ability to misuse and abuse; you cannot crush, snort or otherwise manipulate the fomularies to achieve a "high".
*For all treatments, HB 1048 establishes limits and exemptions for step therapy and fail-first protocols.
U.S. Pain's Position:
This bill establishes a transparent process for health care providers to request exceptions, while also requiring insurers to exempt patients from step therapy if their physician determines that the insurer-required drug is not in the patient's best interest.
U.S. Pain would like to come out of the gates strong to ensure that this bill has the best chance at passing for your family, loved ones, friends and you. By taking one simple step, you are working to ensure quality access to treatment for pain patients in North Carolina! Please email the chairmen of the House Insurance Committee and ask that they SUPPORT HB 1048:
Talking points can be provided upon request.
Tennessee-Across the country, health plan providers are increasingly making abrupt changes to their policies that pressure patients to switch from the medications keeping them stable. These cover changes are anything that makes it difficult to afford a crucial medication-whether eliminating coverage of the drug entirely or switching the drug to a more expensive tier or category.
Forcing a switch in medications for financial reasons rather than medical ones is unfair and unsafe. We believe this practice, sometimes known as non-medical switching, needs reform.
That's why we're collaborating with 14 other organizations in Tennessee to share a survey from the Global Healthy Living Foundation about how health insurance changes affect treatment. By providing lawmakers with data and stories about patients' experiences with non-medical switching, we can help them make more educated decisions on the issue.
those who reside in Tennessee to take the survey and share it with others. In addition to helping improve patient care, when you complete the survey, you'll be entered into a raffle for one of three $100 gift cards!
New Jersey-Members of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee held a hearing recently to vote on A1833. This bill mandates coverage for opioid analgesics with abuse-deterrent properties. The bill requires health insurers to provide coverage on the insurer's formulary, drug list, or other lists of similar construct, for at least one prescribed abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drug product per opioid analgesic active ingredient, subject to various provisions.
Executive Director Casey Cashman provided testimony, in addition to U.S. Pain Foundation submitting a letter to members and the Chairman, Herbert Conaway. The bill has been released from committee and will continue moving within the Assembly.
Pictured: Executive Director Casey Cashman with New Jersey Assemblyman Erik Peterson.
Ohio-House Bill 505 was favorably reported out of the House with a vote of 93-0! Now it will go to the Senate. We thank those Ambassadors and Advocates who urged their House members to support this legislation.
About this Bill: HB 505 is Titled Biological products-regulate/pharmacist substitution. It amends various sectionsof the Revised Code regarding the regulation of biological products and the substitution of interchangeable biological products when dispensed by a pharmacist.
U.S. Pain's Position:
The organization recently submitted a letter to the Chair of the House Health and Aging Committee, noting the organization supports the legislation as it includes prescriber communication. Although there are cost benefits that may occur from biosimilars, substituting a biosimilar or an interchangeable biological product without informing the prescriber could be detrimental to patient safety. That is why U.S. Pain supports HB 505.
Missouri-In a vote of 146-5, the House Truly Agreed and finally passed House Bill 2029. It is now awaiting the Governor's signature. U.S. Pain thanks those who took the time to reach out to various lawmakers during this session, explaining the reasons as to why this bill is so important to the pain community. HB 2029 would provide a more transparent process for physicians to override step therapy protocol, an insurer practice that requires patients to fail on a series of treatment before being granted access to their originally prescribed medication. With your efforts, we were able to bring the bill all the way to the Governor's desk for his consideration. Your voice matters.
Illinois-We are pleased to have learned that HB 3549 passed unanimously out of the House!
About this Bill: Under HB 3549, an exception process would allow a patient to receive the best option available to seek some relief from their chronic pain; physicians have the option of submitting evidence of failure or intolerance of alternative options, not originally prescribed.
Pain Ambassadors and Advocates have been extremely active with our grassroots efforts to ensure lawmakers understood the provisions within the bill and its benefits to the pain community of Illinois, if passed.