As a Bettendorf endocrinologist, I have a number of patients who have gone through, or are currently experiencing, the frustrating insurer created experience of fail-first. I know doctors across Iowa who are also growing weary of a practice that puts insurer profit above patient health.

Many, often with chronic diseases, are being forced to try and fail on cheaper and ineffective medications, before their insurers will cover the drugs they actually need and that their physicians have prescribed.

Thankfully, the Iowa Senate and House were bold enough to introduce and pass legislation that addresses the situation creating necessary patient exemptions that also put drug therapy back into the hands of providers, where it belongs. While House File 233 doesn’t ban the practice completely, it does make things more patient and doctor-centric and will significantly stop delays that are causing many of the problems.

I realize that Iowa Gov. Terry Branstad is about to leave our state for the national stage, but before he does, I hope we can see him sign this very important bill into law. Dozens of patients and providers from across Iowa turned out to tell lawmakers how much it is needed.

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The suffering needs to stop and Gov. Branstad can end it with his signature on the bill making it a law.

Dr. Kathleen Figaro


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