LFNC Calls on California to End "Fail First" Medicine
Update: Gov. Brown signed into law this critical reform on Thursday, October 8, 2015. The LFNC wishes to thank the governor and the legislators for their work on this accomplishment.
Update: This week (week of 9/7) the California State Senate followed the Assembly in passing Step Therapy Reform. The bill is now on Governor Brown's desk awaiting signature. We encourage you to call or email the governor's office to urge him to sign the bill.
At its April meeting, members of the Board of Directors of the LFNC unanimously approved a statement of policy calling for an end to "fail first" treatment requirements often imposed by insurance plans and urged for no-red-tape patient access to FDA-approved treatments.
What is "fail first"? Some insurance plans refuse to pay for treatments or medications doctors think are necessary for a patient simply because they consider it too expensive. Instead, they require the patient to try up to 5 less expensive treatments and only when those fail will they approve treatment the patient needs.
Not only do these policies unduly interfere with the doctor-patient relationship, they often delay critical and necessary treatments for patients who can least afford to wait.
The LFNC has joined forces with patient advocates throughout California in support of AB 374, a bill introduced by California State Assemblymember Adrian Nazarian that would stop the application of the "fail first" policies to patients whose physicians determine that it's medically inappropriate.
To read the LFNC's policy statement, please click here, or, to read AB 374, see here.