MS Activists Support New Indiana Law to Increase Access to Medications
July 18, 2016
In this year’s legislative session, the National MS Society in Indiana joined a broad coalition of patient advocacy organizations in support of step therapy reform legislation, Senate Bill 41 (now Public Law 19 2016). Health plans use step therapy (also known as “fail first”) to require patients to first try and fail medications preferred by the health plan, before patients are allowed access to the medication originally prescribed by their healthcare provider. Requiring people with MS to try and fail multiple medicines can delay their access to optimal treatment, including necessary medications, and may lead to worse health outcomes.
The new law would provide a transparent, accessible process to ensure that patients and their healthcare providers can seek an exception to a health plan’s step therapy protocol, and override step therapy when it is medically inappropriate for the patient. Senate Bill 41 became effective on July 1st, and Indiana now joins other states that have passed similar legislation this year, including Illinois, Missouri, New York and West Virginia.
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.