This year S.4111 Breslin/A.4668 Peoples-Stokes overwhelmingly passed both the New York State Senate and Assembly with bipartisan support; a loud and unified message underscoring the importance of putting patients first.
Once signed into law, this bill will prohibit non-medical switching – the current health insurance practice of switching stable patients off their current physician-prescribed medications to potentially fewer effective alternatives for non-medical reasons that may result in the loss of efficacy of managing a chronic illness.
For many New Yorkers, particularly those with chronic and complex illnesses, medical stability is hard won. Oftentimes, patients are dependent upon these advanced medical therapies to maintain normal lives. Patients’ stability is jeopardized when non-medical switching is used and they are forced to abandon the effective therapy for a less costly alternative – for reasons unrelated to the patient’s well-being. Significant data that shows these switches are generally ineffective in achieving any meaningful cost savings and instead disrupts the continuity of care, reduces medical adherence, and unnecessarily puts the patient at risk for reduced health. In fact, patients who are switched frequently experience adverse side effects, allergic reactions, and increases in health costs for additional testing, doctor’s office and ER visits, and hospitalizations.