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Letter: Legislation likely to improve patients’ access to medication

Legislation likely to improve patients’ access to medication

Spring is supposed to be a time of happiness, health and fresh starts. For some people, it offers a chance to get organized and focus on living a healthy life. This year, we are hopeful that patients across New York will be in a better position to lead healthy lives, with help from legislation that allows for better access to medication.

In 2016, the New York State Legislature unanimously passed, and Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed, legislation to reform step therapy. Step therapy is a barrier created by insurance companies that requires patients to try alternative medications before receiving the medications that their doctor originally prescribed.

This new law did not ban the use of step therapy, but as of 2018, all New York insurance companies should be complying with the new borders that the legislation put in place, and doctors will have an improved, appropriate and efficient process for appealing step therapy when medically necessary.

Doctors know their patients’ medical and family history best and possess the knowledge for prescribing the most effective treatment, not insurance company employees who reside in remote offices and never interact directly with patients.

Moving forward, New York patients should expect to get what the doctor ordered – with no interference from their insurance company.

Laurie Reger

Executive Director, Hemophilia Center

of Western New York, Buffalo

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