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Society Leads Step Therapy Coalition in Kansas

January 31, 2018

The Kansas Coalition for Treatment Access launched earlier this year to ensure that step therapy protocols are transparent and reasonable for both people with MS and their healthcare providers. Step therapy protocols (sometimes referred to as “fail first”) require that patients try and fail at least one medication chosen by the health plan before they will cover the medication that was originally prescribed.
 
Kari Rinker, Senior Manager of Advocacy, leads the Society’s advocacy work in Kansas, Missouri and Oklahoma.  In Kansas, Kari has coalesced two dozen organizations to secure the introduction of SB 304, legislation to allow for exceptions to the step therapy protocols. “Patients should be allowed access to prescription drugs without experiencing the harms occurring due to insurance-imposed delays and deviation from their doctor’s recommended treatment plan.” says Kari.  MS Activists educated legislators about SB 304 during the Kansas State Action Day.  Kari anticipates a February hearing. 

The National MS Society supports appropriate protections to ensure that step therapy protocols are transparent and reasonable for both people with MS and their healthcare providers. Step therapy protocols (sometimes referred to as “fail first”) require that patients try and fail at least one medication chosen by the health plan before they will cover the medication that was originally prescribed. In 2017 alone, the Society supported 33 bills tackling the issue of access and affordability of MS medications (including step therapy).
 
Learn more about the National MS Society’s policy priorities for 2018.

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the central nervous system that disrupts the flow of information within the brain, and between the brain and body. Symptoms range from numbness and tingling to blindness and paralysis. The progress, severity and specific symptoms of MS in any one person cannot yet be predicted, but advances in research and treatment are leading to better understanding and moving us closer to a world free of MS. Most people with MS are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50, with at least two to three times more women than men being diagnosed with the disease. MS affects more than 2.3 million people worldwide.

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