Press Releases

ACR Government Affairs Chair Will Harvey, MD, MSc, Statement of Reintroduction of PATA

ATLANTA — This week, the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act (H.R. 1600), also known as PATA, was reintroduced in the House of Representatives by Reps. David B. McKinley (R‐WV) and Lois Capps (D‐CA). The bipartisan legislation will limit cost‐sharing requirements for medications placed in a specialty tier and make innovative and necessary medications more accessible by reducing excessive out‐of‐pocket expenses.

Government Affairs Chair Will Harvey, MD, MSc, issued the following statement:

"Patients with a breadth of chronic diseases, including Cancer, HIV , Hemophilia, Crohn's disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus and others have a new reason to believe that the United States Congress does indeed work for them. We have again found champions in Representatives McKinley and Capps and 46 original co-sponsors who have re-introduced the Patients' Access to Treatment Act. This bill, which received true bipartisan support with over 140 co-sponsors in the last congress, will end the discriminatory practice of excessive coinsurance for those with chronic diseases requiring treatment with specialty medications, including biologic therapies.

It is a terrible human tragedy that in many instances, access to these transformative treatments are being hindered by a number of factors, including their high cost, the practices of insurers, and the financial limitations of this vulnerable population. This bill will save money. For example, recent data indicates the rates of joint replacements in patients with rheumatoid arthritis have declined in the era of biologic therapies.

We understand that this bill may be met with opposition from some industry sectors, but we issue this challenge: come to the table. Engage with us in a constructive way to chart a better path forward for our industries and most importantly, for millions of Americans who chose neither their disease nor the expensive treatments required to preserve their lives and present disability. These are treatments that these people need. Not want, but need.

I wear a bent fork on my lapel symbolizing both the notion that for people with arthritis, even simple tasks like using a fork are difficult, as well as the disability and deformity we can now prevent. You can help us unbend the tines of this fork and bring a promise to all those with arthritis and other chronic diseases that they will have access to treatments which can change their lives, keep them in the workforce and fulfil their dream of living with their illness, not in spite of it. Please join me in thanking Representatives Capps and McKinley, their staffs and our original co-sponsors for taking a stand with us to ensure the well-being of all those who simply seek access to the treatments which can make them well. You are our heroes."

Bonny Senkbeil
404-633‐3777, ext. 835
bsenkbeil@rheumatology.org

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The American College of Rheumatology is an international medical society representing over 9,400 rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals with a mission to Advance Rheumatology! In doing so, the ACR offers education, research, advocacy and practice management support to help its members continue their innovative work and provide quality patient care. Rheumatologists are experts in the diagnosis, management and treatment of more than 100 different types of arthritis and rheumatic diseases. For more information, visit www.rheumatology.org.

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