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Explore This IssueAugust 2014
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A major priority for the ACR is advancing the Patients’ Access to Treatments Act (PATA; H.R. 460), which would address the problem of specialty tiers and excessive cost sharing for patients. Working with the 28-member Coalition for Accessible Treatments, which the ACR and Arthritis Foundation co-founded, the legislation has reached 127 co-sponsors in the U.S. House of Representatives. One goal for this legislation is to have a hearing on the bill.
On June 12, PATA took a considerable step forward when it was included in a hearing on patient access in the House Energy and Commerce Committee. The congressional committee specifically reached out to the ACR for the participation of Will Harvey, MD, chair of the ACR’s Government Affairs Committee. The ACR was the only physician group invited to testify. A video of the June 12 hearing and Dr. Harvey’s testimony can be found on the Energy and Commerce Committee’s website at http://energycommerce.house.gov/hearings.
In addition to Dr. Harvey’s testimony representing the rheumatology community and the needs of rheumatology patients, Reps. David McKinley (R-W.Va.) and Lois Capps (D-Calif.), lead sponsors of H.R. 460, spoke about the importance of advancing PATA. Dr. Harvey described several patient access challenges and why action on this bill is important.
Dr. Harvey’s testimony was made possible by the ACR continuing to build relationships with key lawmakers and committees. You are crucial to the success of these efforts, and your support and advocacy are appreciated. You can help your colleagues make even more progress in advancing rheumatology on Capitol Hill by learning about RheumPAC at http://www.rheumatology.org/rheumpac.