WASHINGTON – Senator Hassan joined Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Doug Jones (D-AL), Bill Cassidy (R-LA), and additional colleagues on both sides of the aisle to introduce bipartisan legislation to allow patients timely access to treatments that fit their medical needs.
The Safe Step Act will require group health plans to provide an exemption process for step therapy protocols, mechanisms used at times by insurers to require that patients try different medications and treatments before they can access the drug originally prescribed by their physician. While this at times can be an important tool to contain the cost of prescription drugs, in some circumstances, it can put patients at risk by delaying the most effective treatment, creating negative side effects and/or causing irreversible disease progression.
“When doctors prescribe medications to meet their patients’ unique needs, insurance companies should not be able to interfere and force patients to take different medications that could actively harm their health,” Senator Hassan said. “This bipartisan Safe Step Act will help Granite Staters and American receive the health care that they need, when they need it, and I urge my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to support this commonsense legislation.”
Senator Hassan has been a fierce advocate for bringing down health care costs through her work in the Senate. This summer, Senator Hassan helped advance major bipartisan legislation through the Senate Finance Committee to bring down prescription drug costs. Senator Hassan is also working across the aisle to advance critical legislation to end surprise medical bills. On Thursday, the Senate passed the bipartisan Fair and Accurate Medicaid Pricing (AMP) Act, led by Senator Hassan and Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA)—and the bill is now headed to the President’s desk.