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8607 Roberts Drive, Suite 150 Sandy Springs, GA 30350-2237


Gov. Kemp Signs Step Therapy Patient Protection Bill into Law

By Jeff Cornett, RN, MSN, Vice President of Research and Public Policy

Published May 14, 2019


On April 25, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed into law legislation that provides patients with life-threatening or debilitating conditions with better access to the medications prescribed by their doctor. The law protects patients by limiting a health insurance process known as step therapy, or “fail first.” 

Step therapy requires patients to try older, less expensive medications before they can receive the prescribed medications. The new law establishes the framework for exempting patients from step therapy protocols when it is medically appropriate. It also puts in place a process for health care providers to request exceptions.

“House Bill 63 empowers physicians to challenge one-size-fits-all insurer policies when they could hurt patients,” said Dorothy Leone Glasser, RN, HHC, and executive director of Advocates for Responsible Care, which leads the Rx in Reach Coalition. “It’s a simple concept which will improve the step therapy process and make it work better for the entire health care system.”

Rx in Reach is a 36-member partnership of health-centered organizations that advocates for legislation to end financial and discriminatory barriers in obtaining vital medications. Hemophilia of Georgia is one of the 36 partners, advocating for clients with inherited bleeding disorders.