Hello patient advocates!
As American College of Rheumatology’s new Government Affairs Committee Chair, I’m honored to take over the Rheum4You advocacy blogs from Dr. Worthing and share our latest advocacy updates.
As a rheumatologist, researcher, and educator at UT Southwestern in Dallas, TX, I not only take care of patients but also teach medical students, residents, and fellows and do clinical and translational research in rheumatoid arthritis.
I’ve been involved with ACR for a few years and am familiar with Simple Tasks advocacy and all the wins we had last year — including the millions of #Act4Artritis impressions, thousands of letters to Congress and hundreds of meetings between legislators and volunteers. Your efforts make a huge difference!
All this success motivates me in what we can accomplish in 2020 — which is shaping up to be a very busy year. Already, the ACR government affairs team is beginning work on efforts to:
- Lower drug prices in a way that preserves patient access to the medication they need
- Reduce barriers to treatment by reforming prior authorization and step therapy requirements
- Encourage medical students to pursue a career in rheumatology so we can reduce wait times for patients
- Expand funding for rheumatology research, especially for our armed forces and veterans where we are seeing a rise in discharge and disability, to improve outcomes for our patients
That’s certainly no small to-do list, and I know that, with your help, we can advocate to improve the lives of the millions of Americans with rheumatic disease.
I am grateful for the opportunity to help expand our patient advocacy in 2020 and beyond and excited to start this journey with you!
Dr. Blair Solow