By Bob Katzen

This bill would prohibit health plans from requiring prior authorization or step therapy for drugs prescribed to treat a serious mental illness. Step therapy requires the patient to try less expensive options before “stepping up” to drugs that may work better but cost more.

Sponsor Sen. Jamie Eldridge (D-Acton) said this legislation will reduce restrictions for patients with serious mental illness and avoid costs in hospital visits and incarceration. He noted that untreated or poorly treated serious mental illnesses can lead to increased risks of homelessness and interaction with the judicial, legal and police systems.

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