Safe Step Act Introduced in the Senate
One of ASCO’s top legislative priorities, the Safe Step Act of 2021 (S. 464), was introduced in the Senate by Senator Murkowski (R-AK), Senator Hassan (D-NH), Senator Cassidy (R-LA), and Senator Rosen (D-NV). The Safe Step Act establishes an exemption process for step therapy protocol by requiring insurers implement a clear and transparent process for a patient or physician to request an exception, and requires a group health plan respond to an exemption request within 72 hours, or 24 hours if the patient’s life is at risk. It also outlines five specific exemptions: the patient already tried and failed on the required drug; delayed treatment will cause irreversible consequences; required drug will cause harm to the patient; required drug will prevent a patient from working or fulfilling activities of daily living; or patient is stable on their current medication.
ASCO believes that only oncology professionals are equipped to determine the best treatment approach for each individual patient. Unfortunately, fail first requirements prevent patients from receiving timely and appropriate care, and can lead to disease progression and permanently impact a patient’s health. Urge your Senators to support the Safe Step Act.