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Kansas Lawmakers Could Continue Work On Step Therapy Legislation

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Kansas lawmakers could continue work on a so-called step therapy plan when they return to the Statehouse for the veto session. It would require Medicaid patients to try cheaper, proven drugs before trying more expensive options.

Democratic Rep. Jim Ward isn’t sure the plan would actually save the $10 million supporters estimate. He fears it may hurt patient care and would like more protections added to the bill.

“Are you asking us as legislators to trust you that those kinds of things will be implemented? How are we going to protect people whose lives are at stake?” Ward says.

Aaron Dunkel, with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment, says the program would allow patients to skip certain medications under some circumstances.

“They have a demonstrated incompatibility with a certain drug, they’re allergic to it, it doesn’t work for them for some reason or another. That would all be information that would be taken into consideration,” Dunkel says.

A step therapy proposal has already passed the Kansas Senate.