Advocates from across New York State are converging in Albany today to
fight for passage of legislation that would diminish the role of step
therapy (also known as ‘fail first) in medication access. This is a
significant issue across the spectrum of illnesses. It is particular acute
in mental illness where a less effective medication can have impact for a
particularly long duration.

If someone is not provided with the most appropriate medication for their
illness, the impact could be felt for months. In many cases in mental
health, it may take a few months to see any results and if the medication
is not appropriate for the individual than it could take even more months
to wean off the medication. Providing the most effective medication on the
front end could save much more cost on the backend and more importantly,
provide greater hope of recovery.

We must have the most efficacious medication for an individual and the
best way to get there is through working in consultation with their doctor
and other health care professionals to determine the appropriate clinical
pathway. Appropriate medication should not be determined by an existing
formulary. It should be determined by an existing partnership with an
individual’s health care team.

At MHANYS, we strongly believe that there is no cookie cutter way to
recovery. Everyone does it in different ways with varying strength based
tools. For many people that pathway is through medication and that is why
we support this important legislation. We thank Senator Young and
Assemblymember Titone for sponsoring this legislation.

Jennifer Daly | 860.398.3916 |

More than 60 organizations calling for passage of A.2834B/S.3419B to curb
Step Therapy/Fail First insurance industry protocols

(Albany, N.Y.) – Representatives from dozens of patient and provider
groups across New York will be in Albany on Monday, May 23rd to urge
lawmakers to support legislation aimed at ensuring patients have access to
the medicines their doctors prescribe by putting curbs around the insurance
industry protocol step therapy or ‘fail first’.

Step therapy is a cost savings tool implemented by insurers that forces
patients to take and fail on medications other than what their doctor has
prescribed, before their insurer will cover the cost of the original

Step therapy protocols can be harmful to patients both financially and
physically, causing an undue wait for the proper treatment and in some
cases a worsening of a person’s medical condition. Step therapy does not
take into account an individual’s medical history or other factors, but
instead relies upon a pre-determined prescription drug formulary.

A.2834B (Titone) /S.3419B(Young) will give doctors a transparent process
to seek exceptions for step therapy for patients needing a particular
treatment. The bill does not ban step therapy, or the number of steps an
insurer can implement.

Over 60 patient organizations are in support of this legislation.

More than a dozen states have passed or are considering similar legislation
to curb step therapy.

Patients who have experienced step therapy first hand will be available to
talk to the media, as well as physicians and other patient advocates.

WHAT: Press conference supporting step therapy reform
legislation in NYS

WHEN: Monday, May 23rd, 10:30AM

WHO: Senator Catharine Young

Assemblyman Matthew Titone

Patrick Stone, Associate Director of State Government Relations, National
Psoriasis Foundation

Dani Askin, Step therapy
patient from Brooklyn, Global Healthy Living Foundation Volunteer Patient

Dr. Mark Lebwohl, Immediate Past
President, American Academy of Dermatology and practicing dermatologist,
New York City

Karen Waldron, Chair for the Board
of Trustees, Multiple Sclerosis Society Upstate Chapter

WHERE: LCA Press Room

Legislative Office Building
198 State Street
Room 130
Albany, NY


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