Do this TODAY, April 5 - BEFORE NOON: Write to each of the members of the House Finance, Ways & Means Committee, asking them to vote YES on HB 677. Here's what I wrote.
And here's where you can easily click on 'email' legislator'. Took me about 15 minutes. This could be life and death for many suffering from rare diseases:
Dear Rep. _______
I am writing to you today as a constituent, and advocate for patients with rare conditions to heartily ask you to support House Bill 677 (HB 677), legislation that would help ensure prescription drug decisions are kept between a health care provider and their patient.
Step therapy, often called "fail first," is a process that requires patients to take one or more alternative medications chosen by their insurer before permitting patients to access the medicine originally prescribed by their health care provider. The current one-size-fits-all approach to controlling health care costs can interfere with appropriate care for patients, often requiring the patient go off a successful treatment and take less effective medicine simply to control costs. Requiring a patient to follow a step therapy protocol may have adverse and even dangerous consequences, including delaying appropriate treatment, which can ultimately increase health care costs, not lower them. I have a dear friend whose daughter has a rare disease, and have heard firsthand how sad and INEXCUSEABLE the interference of insurance companies can be. People are more important than money - pure and simple. The practice of medicine belongs between a patient and their Doctor. Period. HB 677 would reform some of these dangerous practices by ensuring that step therapy protocols are not used inappropriately and by requiring full transparency when these practices are utilized. It is important to note that HB 677 does not ban the use of step therapy. By supporting HB 677, you will be protecting patients, while still enabling health plans to achieve the cost-saving benefits of step therapy, when appropriate. On behalf of the one-in-ten Tennesseans who are living with a rare disease, I hope you will support HB 677 by voting yes when it comes before you for consideration., and will be watching how you vote on this important matter. Respectfully,