Sunday, March 21, 2010

Representative Roberson's Antiretroviral Bill Approved in Committee

Representative Yolly Roberson’s (D-North Miami Beach) antiretroviral medication bill (House Bill 591) was approved yesterday by the House Health Care Regulation Policy Committee.

The bill ensures that people with private health insurance can obtain the drugs their physician has determined are medically necessary for the treatment and diagnosis of HIV/AIDS without life threatening delay or interference from their insurance company.

“The committee approval of this bill is a victory for the people of Florida,” Representative Roberson said. “The legislators who voted for this bill demonstrated true courage.”

House Bill 591:

· Protects consumers by prohibiting health plans and insurance carriers from subjecting the drugs used to treat HIV/AIDS to administrative procedures that limit patient access and undermine physician orders;
· Extends to the private sector the policy in use by Medicaid and Medicare;
· Reduces long term costs because people able to take their medications can lead healthy and productive lives without risk of complications that result without treatment; and,
· Reduces the cost to Florida’s public health system by providing access and proper medication management, thereby reducing the opportunity for patients to transmit the virus to others.

“This is critical healthcare legislation,” said Representative Roberson. “Even one instance of delay can be life threatening and increases the risk of further transmission of HIV.”

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