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Politico: Gaetz promises to reintroduce step therapy bill

State Sen. Don Gaetz on Monday promised he will reintroduce a step therapy bill for the upcoming legislative session that would establish a panel to approve any insurance company’s proposal to require prior authorization for certain drugs or step therapy programs.

Alternatively, Florida Blue Vice President of of Public Policy and Community Engagement, Jason Altmire, announced that the insurer could be on board with some changes sought by the medical and pharmaceutical industry, including a standardized prior-authorization form, as well as placing in law the time for an insurance company to respond to a physicians’s request for prior approval, and a process for doctors to waive step standards and processes. The insurer cannot, though, support a proposal that would prevent carriers from using prior authorization and step therapy programs from the onset.

The announcements from Gaetz and Altmire were made at at the 2015 American Cancer Society Florida Policy Forum on Step Therapy and Prior Authorization at the DoubleTree in Tallahassee.

Sitting on the panel with Gaetz was House Health and Human Services Committee Chairman Rep. Jason Brodeur and Senior Director of Alliance Development PhRMA Michael Ybarra, among others.

Gaetz sponsored a step therapy and prior authorization approval bill during the 2015 session that would have established a government panel in the Florida Department of Health charged with approving any prior authorization policy or step therapy protocol before it could be implemented. While it cleared the Senate, the measure was never heard in the Florida House. Gaetz said he hoped that would be resolved this year.

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