Beyond Celiac Supports the Safe Step Act

November 4, 2019

On Wednesday, November 13th, 2019 the Digestive Disease National Coalition (DDNC) will coordinate a National Day of Advocacy to encourage federal legislators to address step therapy reform by supporting the Safe Step Act (HR 2279 / S. 2546).

Otherwise known as a “fail first” protocol, step therapy is an insurance practice which mandates that patients try and fail medications preferred by their insurer before they can utilize treatments prescribed by their doctor. While the practice can sometimes be used to contain the costs of prescription drugs, it can also have serious negative impacts on patients, including delayed access to the most effective treatments, severe side effects, and irreversible disease progression.

Step therapy protocols may ignore a patient’s unique circumstances and medical history. That means patients may have to use medications that previously failed to address their medical issue, or – due to their unique medical conditions – could have dangerous side effects.

Throughout the National Day of Advocacy, advocates from around the country will urge their members of Congress to improve patient access by cosponsoring the Safe Step Act, which would establish important guardrails for patients facing step therapy and fail-first protocols.

The Campaign

1. Virtual Advocacy: Working with its constituent members and other voluntary and professional health care organizations, DDNC will develop and disseminate a grassroots outreach campaign to encourage advocates from around the country to contact their legislators through calls, emails, and social media to request their support for the Safe Step Act.

2. Targeted Capitol Hill Meetings: DDNC will also arrange targeted meetings for advocates from the states below with key Senate and House offices:

Pennsylvania | North Carolina | Tennessee | Connecticut | Michigan | Washington

If you would like to be a patient advocate from any of these states to join us in Washington, DC on November 13th, please register here.

Capitol Hill Itinerary

8:30 AM – 9:30 AM Eastern Advocacy Training & Breakfast: The Monocle Restaurant

10:00 AM – 2:30 PM Eastern Congressional Visits: Senate & House Office Buildings

3:00 PM – 5:00 PM Eastern Reception: 188 Russell Senate Office Building

Target States

We are encouraging partnering organizations to invite advocates from key states to join us on November 13th for strategic Capitol Hill meetings. Please see the key states below:

Pennsylvania | North Carolina | Tennessee | Connecticut | Michigan | Washington

If you would like to be a patient advocate from any of these states to join us in Washington, DC on November 13th, please register here.

Virtual Itinerary

Throughout the day, advocates from around the country will urge their members of Congress to improve patient access by co-sponsoring the Safe Step Act, which would establish important guardrails for patients facing step therapy and fail-first protocols. Working with its constituent members and other voluntary and professional health care organizations that support patient access issues, DDNC will develop and disseminate a grassroots outreach campaign to encourage advocates from around the country to contact their legislators over the phone or through email to request their support for the bill.


Participating Organizations

American College of Gastroenterology | American College of Rheumatology | American Gastroenterological Association | Arthritis Foundation | Association of Gastrointestinal and Motility Disorders | Beyond Celiac | Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation | Digestive Disease National Coalition | Global Healthy Living Foundation | IBD Moms | International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders | National Eczema Association | National Pancreas Foundation | National Psoriasis Foundation | The Oley Foundation | Pulmonary Hypertension Association | United Ostomy Associations of America

OUR PARTNERS