We, the undersigned, are writing in response to House Bill 266, which stalled in the Utah House Health and Human Services Committee during the 2017 legislative session.
HB266 addresses the practice by health insurers of imposing step therapy – also known as "fail first" – which occurs when insurers force patients to try, then fail, on several cheaper medications before the medication their health care provider originally prescribed will be covered. Frequently, this delays access to optimal therapy, prolonging needless suffering while potentially exacerbating a patient's condition.
Progress of HB266 was stymied due to outcry from insurers, who we know routinely institute protocols that result in rejection or delays in the most effective treatments for their policyholders. The relationship that a patient, especially a patient with chronic illnesses, has with their doctor is a vital one and should not be hindered by insurers. Having to adhere to an insurer's protocols first, and then the recommendations of their doctors second, creates an even larger burden for patients with complex and chronic conditions.