Spotlight on State Advocacy
Alabama –The affiliate responded to proposed Medicaid cuts that would limit prescriptions to one brand and three generic medications per month which would have devastating consequences for many of our folks. Credit goes to advocates for having the Alabama Medicaid Agency reinstate the four (4) brand-name drug limit per month and no-limits on generics.
Illinois – Prompted by a complaint from a parent about a child's pre-school program refusing to administer diastat, both the Jeanne Carpenter Legal Defense Fund staff and Government Relations staff have been providing technical assistance to the Chicago affiliate. Preliminary research shows that diastat administration is permitted in both school and child care programs by non-medical folks in Illinois.At this time, it would also be helpful to document more problems before considering amendments to legislation/regulations on the issue.
Kentucky – The affiliate was successful in preventing the inclusion of AEDs in a state program to monitor the use of certain classes of medications.The prescription drug abuse legislation and proposed regulations could have endangered access and adherence to AEDs by requiring increased and periodic screening under a drug abuse program.Under affiliate leadership, outreach to Governor and state legislature, resulted in an exemption for AEDs from this reporting system
Michigan – The affiliate joined a coalition to expand adult Medicaid in Michigan, this is an advocacy priority for their work in the coming year to expand Medicaid eligibility. The affiliate was successful in fighting the removal of prior authorization access to epilepsy and mental health medications.The exemption for epilepsy medications from prior authorization policies that has existed since 2004 will continue.
New Jersey – The New Jersey Epilepsy Task Force is scheduled to meet later this year before making final recommendations to Governor Christie.These recommendations will focus on state plans to create awareness, eliminate discrimination and better address the needs of those with epilepsy within New Jersey. The affiliate continues to reach to make possible that anyone with personal experience with epilepsy or an interest in better serving those affected by epilepsy give input and present testimony at the public hearing through written testimony, testifying in person or by filling out an online survey via the web (currently under development).
The New Jersey affiliate is also following proposed legislation to create a New Jersey SUDEP registry and a proposed regulation to change the seizure free period for a driver's license from 12 months to 6 months.
West Virginia - Anticonvulsants are the second most prescribed therapeutic class in West Virginia. In an effort to manage cost, the state proposed changes to the Medicaid Preferred Drug List (PDL) including a change that would require prior authorization for a selected few AEDs.The Foundation wrote in opposition to this, and any other change such as step-therapy, prescription limits etc. While the step edit criteria passed unanimously, the good news for our folks is that final ruling stated that patients diagnosed with partial onset seizures will not need any additional criteria in order to access AEDs that had been targeted.