Champlin Man Celebrates Passage of Step Therapy Bill
The Minnesota Senate has approved legislation aimed at giving doctors and patients more control when it comes to prescription medicines.
It’s called the step therapy bill. The measure is supposed to prevent insurance companies from forcing some patients to go through a step therapy protocol. Often they have to try less expensive drugs first. And when they’re deemed ineffective, then they can take the more expensive medicine their doctor originally prescribed.
The legislation would allow doctors to override that practice and go directly to the drug that he deems medically necessary. It was approved unanimously.
Such a bill would have helped 21-year-old Nicholas Boder-Szarkowski. He was diagnosed with arthritis at age two. The former Champlin Park student has arthritis in every joint in his body and was bedridden for three years. Despite his chronic condition, Nicholas had to wait a year and a half before he was able to get the medicine his doctor first prescribed. While this bill won’t benefit him now, it will help future patients like him.
“It was one of the hardest and worst times of my life. I had to figure out how am I going to get better? How am I going to move? How am I going to do my daily life? And on top of that you have school, you have social activities, you have friends, I had to get rid of all of that, he said.
His Mom, Kitty Szarkowski-Boder is not only an advocate for her son, but to countless Minnesota patients who are in the same boat. She doesn’t want anyone to go through what her son had to endure.
“The damage has already been done. We don’t get that back, he doesn’t get that range of motion back, he doesn’t get that healthy body so he can go out and participate with his brothers,” said Kitty.
The Minnesota Senate passed the Step Therapy bill 56-0. It also passed the House, and will soon head to Governor Mark Dayton’s desk. He has indicated he will sign it.