The Weekly Roundup: Continued State Action on Step Therapy (7.19.19)

July 19, 2019 | Pamela Youngberg

In May, CMS announced its final rule allowing step therapy for Medicare Part B drugs. Although various interests pushed back, the move had clearly been signaled, pushing legislators across the country into motion to counter—or at least clarify—the plans to mandate the approach. Almost two dozen states thus far have addressed step therapy—or as opponents like to refer to it, the “fail-first policy”—at their respective legislatures. This includes last year’s efforts in our home state of Minnesota and the bill signed this month in Wisconsin that seeks to provide for a more clear patient appeal process.

Here are a few other stories that might be of interest:

  • Feeling stressed? APhA has launched a new tool to help.
  • Federal charges were filed against a pharmaceutical distributor’s former executives and pharmacists in an alleged opioid racket.
  • To smoke, or not to smoke? Pharmacists go head-to-head debating the pros and cons of medical marijuana. (Log in required.)
  • It’s almost 2020. Check out the progress made toward the Healthy People 2020 objectives. Each topic in the graphic reports from the program’s midway point, but you can dive deeper into each for a bird’s eye view of current progress.
  • It is estimated that at least one-half of the U.S. population living with Hepatitis C don’t know they are infected. Here’s an update on this “silent epidemic.”

[Editor’s note:] Our inboxes are stuffed with newsletters and our coffee tables stacked with magazines and industry digests. I’m sure yours are, too. So, we’ve decided to run a weekly sampling of interesting stories, issues coverage, and business ideas we come across each week. We hope you’ll share some of your favorites, too. Drop us a line at

Pamela Youngberg

Before she came to Smart-Fill, Pamela developed marketing strategy and content for a range of technology start-ups and large-cap enterprises. Outside the office, she's into cycling, renaissance history, cooking, and exploring the outdoors in the beautiful Pacific Northwest.

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