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Policymakers across both aisles have had mixed viewpoints when it comes to cultivating cannabis, not in the literal sense, but as it relates to bills that would permit individuals to access medical cannabis. Several states, however, are expanding or considering expanding their medical cannabis programs, including Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. In addition, some federal institutions have taken steps to improve access: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Congress.

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After a two-year process calling on New York State lawmakers to update patient protections surrounding biologic treatments, U.S. Pain Foundation is pleased to announce that Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a biologic substitution bill, Chapter 357 of the Laws of 2017.

Earlier in the state’s legislative session, U.S. Pain reached out to senators and the Assembly, urging them to support Senate Bill 4788 and its companion bill. The legislation secured effective medication substitution laws while also allowing patients to access this new age of medicines in a safe, reliable, and consistent manner.

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Governor Cuomo signs S.3419C into Law

Middletown, CT, January 1, 2017– After years of advocating for a transparent and standardized process to appeal step therapy, an insurer protocol which forces patients to fail on a series of medications before receiving the originally prescribed treatment, New York state Governor Andrew Cuomo has signed a bill into law which overrides the unfair insurer practice.

This past year, over 80 patient and provider groups, including U.S. Pain Foundation, banded together to collaborate on initiatives which raised awareness surrounding both step therapy and the proposed legislation by Assemblyman Matthew Titone and Senator Catharine Young. The Assembly and Senate unanimously passed S.3419C, a bipartisan bill designed to create a clear override process for doctors who feel that “failing first” on alternative therapy options could pose negative impacts to their patients.

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On Dec. 2, the State of New York announced it would include chronic pain as a qualifying condition for medical marijuana. The U.S. Pain Foundation actively supports legalizing medicinal marijuana for chronic pain in all states.

“Living with Ehlers-Danlos, I am always grateful to see states allowing pain patients, like me, to have the same rights as those with more commonly known conditions,” said Ellen Lenox Smith, U.S. Pain’s co-director for Medicinal Marijuana Advocacy. “Our goal is to see all states embracing the legal use of medical marijuana across the country.”

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