Texas Poll Shows Voter Support for Limits on Nonmedical Switching

The poll found that 82% of Republicans, 92% of Democrats, and 91% of Independents polled supported legislation to limit nonmedical switching.

WPA Intelligence, a national polling organization, recently conducted a telephone poll among 500 likely Texas voters from August 27, 2018 to August 29, 2018 to determine the importance of a candidate’s views on nonmedical switching before casting a vote.

Nonmedical switching is used by insurers to limit prescribing to preferred medications. These changes to a patient’s medication—including, in some cases, a switch from a reference biologic to a biosimilar—can particularly impact patients with chronic conditions who are controlling their disease on a given regimen.

Learn more about nonmedical switching and biosimilars.

WPA Intelligence randomly selected a sample of likely voters from the Texas voter file using Proportionate Probability Sampling. Additionally, the sample for the survey was stratified based on geography, age, and gender.

The poll revealed that the majority of people want consistent health plan coverage for their prescription medications, and are in fact more likely to support legislators who will protect that coverage.

Specifically, the poll found that:

  • 88% of people agree that patients should have consistent coverage of their medications year after year. In total, 74% supported this concept “strongly,” while only 8% were undecided.
  • 85% support legislation that ensures continuity of care, with 67% supporting it “strongly.”
  • 36% have directly, or through someone they know, experienced nonmedical switching.
  • 68% of Texan voters are more likely to support a candidate for the state legislature who supports legislation that restricts non-medical switching.

The report also noted that concerns about nonmedical switching were not limited to any specific party, as 82% of Republicans, 92% of Democrats, and 91% of Independents polled supported legislation to limit nonmedical switching.

Nonmedical switching has garnered more attention from legislators and voters alike as several states have enacted or are considering enacting laws to address the practice.

The most recent states to act against nonmedical switching include Maine, which in July passed a law that requires insurers to give 60 days’ notice to affected patients before changing its formulary, and notify patients of their right to request exemptions. Illinois passed a law just last month that similarly requires insurers notify patients and provide details about the exemption process.

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