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.
Taking Action Is Easy:

, find your representative at www.House.gov and your senators at www.Senate.gov.

SECOND, navigate to the home pages of your representative and senators to find their contact information. You can email most members of Congress directly from their website.

THIRD, compose your message using your personal experience to make a compelling argument in support of the legislation. You may also use some of the below key points in your email.

Talking Points for Your Message:

"Safe Step Act"
  • The "Safe Step Act" provides a clear, timely and transparent exceptions process for step therapy protocols in certain situations, including when the required drug could cause harm to the patient or when the patient is stable on his or her current medication.
  • This legislation will help to ensure that patients aren’t blocked from accessing proper treatment in a timely manner.
  • Step therapy requirements often interfere with evidence-based medicine and physician decision-making.
  • Step therapy protocols often do not account for race and ethnicity, which may influence the effectiveness of a particular medication.
  • Please co-sponsor the" “Safe Step Act” (S.2546/H.R. 2279).
The ABC is firm in its resolve to make exemplary health care accessible and affordable to all and is committed to reducing health care disparities through advocacy.

Please take a moment to take action today on behalf of your patients and your profession.

ABC thanks you for your advocacy.
Copyright © 2019 Association of Black Cardiologists, Inc, All rights reserved.

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