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News & Advocacy

Physician and Patient Advocates Gather in Columbus for Advocacy Day

posted: May 29, 2018

OAR Group. Members from OAR gather for a photo before heading to legislative meetings.

Members from the Ohio Association of Rheumatology (OAR) partnered with patient advocates from the Arthritis Foundation (AF) to host the 5th Annual Arthritis Advocacy & Access Day at the capitol building in Columbus, Ohio. Attendees were tasked to meet with legislators to discuss patient access legislation that is currently being debated at the Statehouse.

Before heading to meetings in the House and Senate, attendees gathered in the Governor Thomas Worthington Center to learn more about the issues, how to have a successful meeting and the impact current processes have on patients and providers.

Dr. Stephanie Ott, OAR President, began the program by welcoming attendees and talking about just how important it was for everyone to attend and share their personal story with legislators. Dr. Edward Goldberger and Dr. Elisabeth Roter both talked about the negative consequences that step therapy has on patients, which was one of the priorities being discussed with legislators.

AF Group. AF advocates meet with “Senator Smooth” in a skit to show attendees how to have a successful meeting.

Antonio Ciaccia, Director of Government and Public Affairs, from the Ohio Pharmacists Association (OPA) educated advocates on legislation that would protect patients and pharmacists from some of the harmful tactics used by Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) at the pharmacy level. The bill would address clawbacks and eliminate gag clauses that prohibit a pharmacist from telling a patient that the drug they were prescribed is cheaper if they pay cash instead of using their insurance.

The program closed with the Arthritis Foundation performing a skit on how to have a successful meeting with a legislator. Advocates went on to have meetings throughout the rest of the day to urge lawmakers to support step therapy and PBM legislation.

If you or someone in your practice is interested in attending next year’s advocacy day, please contact Kevin Daley, OAR Director of Government Affairs at or (847) 264-5930.