A Call to Action
Ask Congress to Ensure Timely Access to Medications
A bipartisan bill is pending in the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives that has the potential to improve patient access to medications for the treatment of cardiovascular disease.
The “Safe Step Act” (S.2546/H.R.2279) creates a clear, timely and transparent process for a patient or physician to request an exception to step therapy protocols in certain situations. Step therapy is a tactic used by insurance companies that requires a patient to try and fail on their preferred medications before covering the therapy prescribed by their health care provider.
The legislation outlines situations in which a group health plan must grant an exception to the “fail first” protocols, including if an application clearly demonstrates:
- Patient already tried and failed on the required drug
- Required drug will cause harm to the patient
- Required drug will prevent a patient from working or fulfilling daily activities
- Patient is stable on his/her current medication
The bill also requires that a request for an exception to step therapy be answered by the insurance company within three days, and in less than 24 hours for urgent situations.
The “Safe Step Act” is good legislation that deserves Congress' attention. Advancing the bill requires a strong show of support by elected officials. The more cosponsors a piece of legislation has, the more likely it is to receive a vote.
Tell your members of Congress why the “Safe Step Act” is important to patients with heart disease and ask for their co-sponsorship.