Washington Passes Step Therapy Reform!
Governor Inslee signed HB 1879 into law yesterday, expanding patient protections in Washington State. This new law places guardrails in prescription drug utilization management (UM) protocols and requires a health plan to clearly post the process and criteria for prescription drugs that require a UM protocol, including prior authorization and step therapy. H.B. 1879 establishes an exception process for patients if trying or staying on a medication would create a significant barrier to compliance, worsen a comorbid condition, is contraindicated, or will decrease the patient’s ability to achieve or maintain reasonable function with medication. Additionally, the new law unifies timelines for granting or denying submissions on UM to three business days for non-urgent and one business day for urgent cases, with no UM for emergencies.
This legislation was led by Representative Laurie Jinkins (D-27) and passed the House and Senate unanimously. The new law will go into effect starting January 2021.