Did you know that insurers can reduce your prescription coverage at any time? On June 6, Shaina Smith, U.S. Pain director of state advocacy and alliance development, traveled to Pennsylvania to speak on a panel asked about improving patient stability by limiting midyear prescription coverage changes. Women in Government partnered with the Pennsylvanians for Fair Health Coverage Coalition, of which U.S. Pain belongs, to host the event.

“It was an incredible experience to share the real-life impact that non-medical switching can have on people living with chronic conditions,” Smith explains. “Attendees were genuinely interested in learning how Pennsylvania can be the next state to offer better protections for its consumers. Any opportunity to share ways that people within the pain community can receive uninterrupted, quality care to manage their condition is a success in my book.”

The state policy roundtable also included members from the Epilepsy Foundation and Community Liver Alliance. Such like-minded groups expressed similar sentiments shared by Smith’s presentation, with an emphasis on the impact existing loopholes in Pennsylvania can have on patients being medically treated to manage specific conditions.

Smith says that the takeaway message that morning was clear. “Pennsylvania needs fair health coverage for all,” Smith notes. “It just makes sense for the state, and all states, to implement protections which will prevent families from experiencing adverse and negative events to a loved one’s treatment.”

Legislation has not yet been introduced by lawmakers in Pennsylvania to ensure continuity of care, but the coalition is in its early stages of providing educational opportunities for patients and General Assembly to better understand why keeping patient consumers stable on medications is detrimental to overall patient safety.

To learn more about continuity of care and nonmedical medication switching, click here.