dahlia in my garden: Rio Fuego in Coleus leaves

Saturday, September 8, 2012

‘Fail First’ Victory so close in California: Your Letter could make the difference!

I have great news! AB 369, the anti-Fail First bill, made it through the Legislature last Friday and is now sitting on the Governor’s desk. He has until September 30 to sign it or veto it - and you know what that means. This is it! Our very last chance to write letters and show how much we want AB 369 signed into law. 

Now more than ever, we need all Californians to join together. The health insurance lobby is working overtime to try to kill the bill. FailFirstHurts.org is reporting that “Governor Brown has indicated he will be vetoing most healthcare related bills so advocates are really needed to bombard his office. We need your help in CA, we need more stories out to the media ASAP, and we need you to make the Governor know how important this is to pain patients.” 

For details on where to send your letters, skip to asterisk * below.
But if you are unfamiliar with what I’m talking about, here’s an overview of what Fail First is:

Across the country, some states are introducing anti-‘Fail First’ legislation. Fail First (also known as Step Therapy) is when an insurer requires that other medications must be tried and must fail before a patient can obtain the medicine originally prescribed by their doctor. 

This protocol is used as a cost-saving measure, but in the long run it can actually increase costs because creating a delay in care can increase resistance to treatment or cause other health complications. Delaying or denying access to treatment steals time and quality of life from patients, could permanently worsen their conditions, could create serious new health crises, and potentially result in premature deaths. This is not acceptable! Insurers should not be making medical decisions; it should be between you and your physician. 

To read more details about Fail First, see a previous post HERE

The states of New York and New Jersey are also moving ahead with anti-Fail First legislation. You can read more about what’s going on in those states by reading this ARTICLE.  

If you want to know whether your state has any bills pending on this issue, check this specialized MAP and click on your state.

To keep on top of all legislation on Rx issues across the country, to hear how patients are being affected, and to connect with patients like yourself, visit the website FAILFIRSTHURTS.org or join them on Facebook.


*Here is the information on how to show your support for AB 369. Please write a letter that is more than just a few sentences. Give an inside look at your battle with pain, if you’ve struggled against your insurance company for medication then highlight your struggle, tell the Governor in your own words what this bill means to you. This may sound trite, but try to emphasize how managing your pain effectively helps you to live a better life and be a better person, spouse, parent, worker, etc. and that AB 369 will protect your ability to continue being so. No matter what you decide to share in your letter, remember it is vitally important to add your voice to thousands of others. After you finish your letter, ask your family and friends to send their own letters as well and share their stories from the point of view of having a loved one (you!) who struggles with chronic pain.

Mail your letters to:
     Governor Jerry Brown
     State of California
     State Capitol
     Sacramento, CA 95814
     Attn:  Lark Park

Please do not hesitate! We do not know when he may act on the bill so we can’t afford to wait. Please get your letter in the mail as soon as possible. 

Thank you!

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