Your Massachusetts Neurologic Association Takes a Stand on Step Therapy


 House Bill 1148 and Senate Bill 602 (2017)

Legislation to remove certain treatment access barriers for

people with epilepsy: “Step Therapy” protocols

Press Release (June, 2017):

The Massachusetts Neurologic Association is endorsing legislation to remove certain treatment access barriers for people with epilepsy. These “step therapy” protocols restrict which medications neurologists can prescribe to their patients. Within MassHealth, the state’s Medicaid program, people with epilepsy must fail two or three drugs before being approved for some physician-preferred medications.


As neurologists, we are deeply concerned about these restrictions and the impacts they have on our patients. Across the country, more than 30 states – including New York, Connecticut, Maryland, and California – offer access to all anti-epileptic medications within a single step or better in their Medicaid plans. Massachusetts should do the same.


While this multiple step policy is intended to reduce spending, our patients are the ones who pay the price. As neurologists, we know the real consequences of these restrictions go far beyond dollars and cents – people with uncontrolled epilepsy are at risk of losing their jobs and driver’s licenses due to ongoing seizures, often resulting in hospitalizations and emergency room visits, all at Medicaid’s expense.


Therefore, we are pleased to offer our support for House Bill 1148 and Senate Bill 602 and urge the state legislature to take quick action to remove these restrictions on epilepsy medications for the state’s most vulnerable patients.

Massachusetts Neurologic Association • 781-434-7314 •