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Autoimmune Association Ramps Up Efforts to Eliminate Unwarranted Step Therapy & Other Restrictions

Autoimmune Association has long understood that too many routine insurance plan and PBM practices prevent people with autoimmune diseases and other chronic conditions from getting the medicines they need.

Autoimmune Association is actively promoting passage of the Safe Step Act, bipartisan federal legislation to reform insurance-mandated step therapy practices. This legislation, HR 2279 and S. 2546 in the House and Senate, respectively, would require timely and medically-appropriate appeals processes and other reforms needed to assure that patients get the treatment that is best for them.

As a member of the Safe Step Coalition, Autoimmune Association joined other organizations early in the year in writing to Members of Congress to urge their support for passage of this critical legislation. Similarly, at the state level, Autoimmune Association is collaborating with other advocates to advance of reforms addressing step therapy, utilization management, non-medical switching, and other restrictions on access the medicines patients and their physicians know are best for them.

In March, as part of Autoimmune Diseases Awareness Month (ADAM), Autoimmune Association mobilized patient advocates nationwide in contacting Congress in support of the Safe Step Act. Clearly this legislation is a priority for patients. In the first 24 hours of outreach, hundreds of advocates communicated with legislators, including 50 early-responders who described their frustrations and the harmful consequences of step therapy in their messages.

In April, Autoimmune Association joined the movement to suspend prior authorization and step therapy restrictions in Medicare during the pandemic, as so many beneficiaries with underlying conditions – especially in minority communities, are bearing the brunt of contagion, serious illness, and worse. Through social media, signing-on to an Aimed Alliance Coalition letter to Congress, and our own website advocacy.

The cornerstone of AARDA’s step therapy reform efforts remains the Let My Doctors Decide (LMDD) National Campaign.

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