Monday, March 2, 2015

Action Needed From Coloradans!

Do you live in Colorado? If so we need your help! 

Remember when I recently testified about SB71 at the Senate hearing? I'll be testifying again this coming Thursday in the House Health, Insurance and Environment Committee hearing on the same bill. We need the bill to pass through this Committee so it can be considered in the Colorado House and hopefully turned into an actual law! 

If you follow me on Twitter you'll know that I went down to the Capitol last Tuesday. I was able to meet face-to-face with of the six of the thirteen Committee members to chat about the bill. Most of them are being inundated with meetings and messages from lobbyists who are opposed to SB71. There are lots of big pharmaceutical companies and pharmacies out there who think that it would be too much work to notify patients and their doctors if a biosimilar is substituted for the biologic the doctor prescribed. That's why it would be really helpful for the Representatives on the Committee to hear from more patients (or other concerned constituents!) who would like to see SB71 passed into law - without any amendments.

If you are a Colorado resident who cares about this issue, please consider emailing the Representatives on this Committee! If you need help getting started, I've included their names and email addresses below, as well as the email I sent to the Representatives I didn't have a chance to meet in person. You could write something similar! As patients (and people who care about patients!) we need to stand up for ourselves so the legislation that gets passed reflects what is best for patients.
Dear Representative NAME,

My name is Mariah Leach and I am a patient advocate with the Global Healthy Living Foundation's 50 State Network. I was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at the age of 25 and have been living with this disease for the last six years. As someone who depends on biologic medications to function, I wanted to offer you my perspective on SB71, the biosimilars bill which will be considered at the hearing on Thursday afternoon.

Without biologic medications, I never would have gotten my condition well enough under control to graduate from law school and start my family. But as wonderful as biologic medications are, they can also be quite expensive. For that reason I am very excited about the promise that biosimilars hold - both for generating more options and providing less expensive treatment options.

However, I think this promise will be jeopardized if we do not pass legislation to create an accurate and transparent medical record for patients and their doctors. If a pharmacists substitutes a biosimilar for the biologic my doctor prescribed, I want to know about it and I want my doctor to know about it also. That is why the notification requirement if SB71 is so important.

I ask that you consider passing SB71 with no amendments. I will be offering my testimony at the hearing on Thursday, but if you have any other questions I can help with before then please do not hesitate to let me know.

Thank you again for your time. Have a great afternoon!

~Mariah Leach~

No comments: