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Letter to the editor: Support step therapy legislation

Nearly every day I have patients who cannot get the treatments they need because of what insurers call "step therapy." For many of us, this is getting out of hand. Increasingly, this disregards the patient's needs and creates unnecessary burdens that threaten the health of Minnesotans who are the most vulnerable.

As a doctor, my staff spends countless hours on the phone with insurers trying to get my patients the medications I've prescribed. The current "try and fail first" policy delays this from happening by forcing patients to take the drug recommended by the insurer first.

Thankfully, legislators like Sen. Paul Gazelka and others are listening to these frustrations, especially from those with chronic diseases and concerned physicians. Bills SF 2897 and HF 3196 are already receiving unanimous support from committees in both houses.

The law, while not ending the process, will provide a clear path of accessibility for doctors to get their patients the medications they need. Legislators have been inclusive, getting all sides involved, and that's helped create a fair and meaningful compromise to reform the process.

This law focuses on our doctor/patient relationship and greatly reduces paperwork and burdens caused by step therapy. Please contact your local legislators and ask them to support step therapy legislation and reform now.

Dr. Christine Albrecht,

Staples