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New bill clears path to specialized prescription drugs

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WXOW) – People needing specialty drugs will have an easier time getting them thanks to a new bill signed by Governor Tony Evers.

The step therapy law is designed to limit the restrictions insurance companies can impose and streamline the process.

Prescription drugs are categorized into tiers and step therapy is the process that encourages patients to try less expensive drugs before the more expensive and higher tier drugs. Health officials said it’s frustrating for patients and doctors to try and jump through hoops in the process before administering specialty drugs.

“I think it impacts everybody,” Gundersen Health System Pharmacy Clinical Manager Marc Ertz said. “From the provider who’s prescribing the medication, to the ultimate user. There are a lot of unnecessary hoops right now that healthcare workers and patients have to jump through to get what the end user is ultimately getting prescribed. It should be easier.”

The bill aims to make it easier for patients to avoid having to go through step therapy if they can demonstrate the cheaper drugs are ineffective or cause adverse reactions.

With the new law, Wisconsin joins a list of 24 other states with step therapy laws.

Marcus Aarsvold

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