NJ: Patients Can't Afford to Fail - Reform Step Therapy


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Cancer Patients Can't Afford to Fail Reform Step Therapy

Dear [Decision Maker],

I'm writing today as your constituent to ask you to cosponsor A4815/S3051 to ensure prescription drug decisions are kept between a doctor and their patient and ensure that when step therapy is used in New Jersey it is safe for patients, clinically grounded, and transparent to patients and health care providers.

Step therapy, often called "fail first," is a process that requires patients to try and fail on one or more medications chosen by their insurer before they can access the optimal treatment recommended and prescribed by their healthcare provider. There is currently no clear step therapy exemption process in New Jersey. The current one-size-fits-all approach to controlling health care costs can lead to unnecessary delays, even denials, of care. This often causes New Jersey patients' health to deteriorate as they try and fail on medications that don't work for them. Requiring a patient to follow a step therapy protocol may have adverse and even dangerous consequences for the patient who may either not realize a benefit from taking a prescription drug, suffer harm from taking the wrong drug, and/or abandon their treatment.

A 4815/S 3051 protects patients by ensuring that fail first protocols are based on clinical guidelines developed by independent experts, establishing a basic framework for when it is medically appropriate to exempt patients from fail first, and ensuring that the exception process is transparent and accessible to patients and health care providers.

I support this legislation because it appropriately balances the competing goals of protecting patients from adverse health outcomes and controlling healthcare costs.

I hope I can count on you to take a stand for cancer patients and make sure they get the medicine they need, when they need it, by becoming a cosponsor today.

[Your Name]
[Your Address]
[City, State ZIP]
[Your Email]