Morrison's plan expanding patient rights signed into lawSPRINGFIELD – A new law that will give more flexibility to medical patients who are benefiting from a certain drug but are required by their insurance companies to take a less-costly medication was signed into law recently by the governor.

“Patients suffering from chronic conditions, such as cancer, multiple sclerosis or mental illness, rely on effective medical treatments to manage their conditions,” State Senator Julie Morrison (D - Deerfield) said. “When an insurance bureaucrat tells a patient the medication they are currently taking will no longer be covered, it can bring uncertainty and worry to patients already struggling with a serious health concern.”

Morrison passed a plan earlier this year that expands what is known as step-therapy exceptions. Step-therapy is the process by which a patient tries other medications first before “stepping up” to drugs that are costlier. While the process can save insurance companies money, for many patients who have already tried generic drugs or who are stable on their current prescriptions, the issue can be a serious health concern.

“Expanding the ability of patients to advocate for the use of prescription medications which would be best for their unique medical circumstance is an important tool in the health care delivery process for patients and doctors alike,” said Patrick Stone, Associate Director of State Government Relations at the National Psoriasis Foundation.

House Bill 3549 was signed into law on Friday by the governor.