02 Jul American Academy of HIV Medicine Applauds Governor Abbott Signing Texas Senate Bill 1283 and Urges Other States to Adopt Similar Measures
Washington, DC –The American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), an independent organization of HIV specialists and other care providers dedicated to promoting excellence in HIV, applauded Texas Governor Greg Abbott today for signing into law State Senator Borris L. Miles’ Senate Bill 1283. Scheduled to go into effect on September 1, 2019, the law protects people with HIV under the State Medicaid program by prohibiting the application of prior authorization and step therapy techniques to antiretroviral medications. The prohibition of these utilization management tactics for HIV medications effectively lowers a barrier to successful HIV treatment and adherence for people with HIV in Texas.
“This is an excellent decision and integral to providing individualized care to those living with HIV,” stated Dr. Tracy Hicks, DNP, APRN, FNP-BC of C-Trilogy Comprehensive Care in Dallas and co-chair of AAHIVM’s Texas Steering Committee.“With so many treatment variables to consider, it is imperative that providers have limited restriction; so we applaud the efforts and attention of Governor Abbott and Congress,” she said.
Currently more than 84,000 Texans have HIV. Retaining these individuals in uninterrupted care is a critical step toward ending the HIV epidemic. Prior authorization for HIV medications increases health care costs associated with delayed treatment and creates administrative burden and increased staff costs for HIV medical providers and pharmacists. Step therapy also undermines the expertise of HIV care providers by requiring patients to try often older and cheaper treatments first. This can facilitate the development of drug-resistant HIV strains and other complications. By protecting antiretrovirals from prior authorization and step therapy under Medicaid, the State of Texas recognizes that, for people with HIV, providers prevail in determining the best treatment for their patients.
“We know that managed care Medicaid plans will look to cut costs at every opportunity,” said AAHIVM executive director Bruce J. Packett, II. “This important law represents the state of Texas taking their HIV epidemic very seriously, and moving in the right direction to keep a protective bubble around the armamentarium of HIV treatment options, and giving the prescriber the final say in which drugs are used, rather than payer entities,” he said.
AAHIVM thanks Texas and encourages other states to adopt similar legislation as part of the campaign to end the HIV epidemic in the US.
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