Patient Choice Is A Right

Doctor and Patient

A Patient's Right to Choose

Here in Arizona, we value individual rights. We know that all Arizonans can live their best lives when they have the power to choose their own doctors, their own pharmacies, and their own path. Unfortunately, billion-dollar healthcare corporations are trying to take that right away from Arizona patients.

What Is Patient Steering?

"Patient Steering" is when a patient's insurance company/pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) attempts to take away their right to choose where and how a patient receives their medication. Some of the ways they do this are:

  • sending deceptive letters or emails threatening removal of prescription drug coverage unless the patient switches pharmacies

  • denying prescription refills when a patient arrives at their chosen pharmacy to pick them up

  • refusing to cover a patient's medication unless the patient orders it through mail order or a PBM-owned pharmacy (regardless of if the patient's chosen pharmacy is in-network)

  • trolling patient data to redirect where a patient's prescription is filled without the patient's consent

 

Patient steering hurts patients by denying them the right to choose their own pharmacy and:​

  • places patients at higher risk for medication interaction and safety issues

  • adversely affects medication adherence by eroding patient trust

  • contributes to pharmacy closures by forcing patients away from their local pharmacies to PBM-owned national chains, which increases the existence of pharmacy deserts and decreases local access to healthcare

  • delays disease treatment by forcing patients to wait for chemotherapy or other infusion medications to be delivered through mail-order or a PBM-owned/affiliated specialty pharmacy instead of being administered swiftly and properly on-site by the patient's physician

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What Can We Do?

Arizona Senate Bill 1161

(known as the Prescription Drug Coverage Steering Prohibition bill)

WILL:

  • Protect Patient Choice and Safety by stopping pharmacy benefit managers from requiring a patient to use the PBM's affiliated provider in order for that patient to receive the maximum benefit under their health benefit plan

  • Protect Patient Data by prohibiting pharmacy benefit managers from transferring records containing patient or prescriber identifiable prescription information to or from an affiliated provider for a commercial purpose;

  • Protect Arizona Hospitals, Clinics, and Pharmacies by stopping pharmacy benefit managers, health insurers, or third-party payors from requiring a clinician-administered drug to be dispensed by a pharmacy as a condition of coverage;

  • Help Lower Out of Pocket Drug Costs by prohibiting pharmacy benefit managers, health insurers, or third-party payors from covering prescription drugs as a different benefit with cost-sharing requirements that impose greater expense on the patient, if the drug is dispensed or administered at the prescriber's office, a hospital outpatient infusion center, or any other outpatient clinical setting.

Help Put A Stop To Patient Steering

Arizona legislators need to understand the damage that the anticompetitive corporate practice of patient steering causes. It hurts our patients, businesses, and local economies, and it must be stopped. As Arizona citizens, our rights, our health, and our communities are too important!