Have you heard the news? The first ever federal bill to reform step therapy was introduced in the United States House of Representatives this year. This bipartisan bill is called the Restoring the Patient's Voice Act (H.R. 2077). The legislation was introduced by Representatives Brad Wenstrup (R-OH) and Raul Ruiz (D-CA), who are both physicians and have seen firsthand how step therapy can negatively impact the patient-physician relationship.
Step therapy, also known as "fail first protocols," is a tool used by insurers that requires patients to try a less expensive treatment, or series of treatments, before they can access the drug originally prescribed by their physician. Overly burdensome step therapy can jeopardize the patient-provider relationship and unnecessarily prolong ineffective treatment, preventing patients from immediately starting, or in some cases continuing, to access the most appropriate treatment recommended by their doctor.
The Restoring the Patient's Voice Act takes action to protect patients who have employer-sponsored health plans by establishing a clear and expedited exceptions process to minimize patient burden and avoid delays in care. The time is now to share your stories with your member of Congress and encourage them to support, or thank them for sponsoring, H.R. 2077.