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Advocacy Action Center

National Eczema Awareness Month

In September 2017, NEA launched its advocacy program, Raise Your Voice! Throughout the fall of 2017, we asked our community to email their representatives to let them know that eczema is important to them. We then followed up with a request that grassroots advocates meet with their elected representatives to see if they would be willing to introduce a resolution declaring October 2018 to be Eczema Awareness Month.

Grassroots advocates Cara Ellis in Tennessee, Kelly Barta in Georgia, and Lindsay Swire Jones in Illinois have all successfully advanced Eczema Awareness Month initiatives in their home states. Advocates in California, New York, Michigan, and Louisiana have been in contact with their legislators and are actively working to have resolutions introduced.

If you would like to find out what you can do to make October 2018 Eczema Awareness Month in your state, please contact NEA’s Vice President of Advocacy and Access, Tim Smith, at tim@nationaleczema.org or visit our engagement page at: https://nationaleczema.salsalabs.org/2018eczemaawarenessmonthresolution.

Legislative Positions

Step Therapy

Have you ever been prescribed a medication by your doctor just to be told by your insurer that you have to take another medication first? If you have, then you’ve experienced step therapy.

Step therapy is a protocol that insurers use to steer patients away from the medications prescribed by their doctors and toward cheaper medications. Essentially, insurers deny coverage for patients’ prescribed medications unless the patients try cheaper drugs for a period of time first. This protocol has the effect of discouraging patients from trying to get the medicines they need to manage their conditions. You can find our more about step therapy here: https://youtu.be/zg6mjEnUMv0.

The National Eczema Association believes that this practice is wrong and is working with coalitions in several states and at the federal level of government to pass legislation which requires insurers step therapy protocols to be rational and in keeping with standards of good medical practice. Currently, NEA supports the following step therapy bills:

Updated March 1, 2018

New Mexico SB11

Status: Signed into law February 28, 2018
Companion to HB 24

Ohio SB 56

Status: Carried Over
This bill has crossed over to the second house

Virginia HB 386

Status: Failed
Companion to SB 574. Failed passage.

Virginia SB 574

Status: Failed
Companion to HB 386. Failed passage.

Washington SB 6233

Status: Amended
Sponsor backed away. Wants this to be a report bill. May be taken up as part of the budget process

Georgia HB 519

Status: Passed House on February 28, 2018
Assigned to Senate Rules Commitee

Federal H.R. 2077

Status: Introduced
Not yet assigned to a committee