LABA/Inhaled Steroid Review
Express Scripts is administering an approval of LABA/inhaled steroids for some primary payers. Our patients may come to us with a form letter recommending we call an 800 number to get approval of the LABA/inhaled steroid. We were assured that this is to keep PCPs from using LABA/inhaled steroids for “colds”, not to keep these medications from asthma patients that need them. We talked with the leaders at Express Scripts and they said we can submit a form or go online to establish the reasons we are using LABA/inhaled steroids rather than calling. Their website and the form are in the Members Only section of the TAAIS website.
Texas Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Society Succeeds in Obtaining Settlement Preserving its Right to Educate Texans and their Primary Care Physicians Regarding Safe & Effective Care
Texas Allergy, Asthma & Immunology Society (“TAAIS”) represents more than 230 board-certified allergists and immunologists in Texas. In August 2011, United Allergy Labs (now known as United Allergy Services or “UAS”) filed suit against TAAIS and several of its physician members and obtained a unilateral Temporary Restraining Order, without prior notice to us and without an opportunity for the Court to hear from us.
UAS’s Temporary Restraining Order, which we believe was an unconstitutional prior restraint on our free speech rights, prevented TAAIS from communicating with primary care and other physicians not board certified in Allergy and Immunology about the applicable standards of care. Contrary to UAS’s allegations, TAAIS is committed to promoting the highest standards of medical care for Texans who suffer from allergic, asthmatic and immunologic disorders. TAAIS’s mission is to ensure that all physicians providing allergy care in Texas, whether board certified allergists or not, are educated regarding the applicable standards that govern such care. To that end, TAAIS sponsors continuing medical education courses to educate all physicians who provide allergy care to their patients, including primary care physicians and ENTs, as well as board certified allergists. Primary care physicians or ENTs who are interested in obtaining more information about these courses may contact our Executive Director, Connie Mawer, at 512.451.6108, or consult our website, www.taais.org.
TAAIS steadfastly denied UAS’s multiple allegations against it, and vigorously defended against UAS’s lawsuit for one and one-half years before the parties reached a settlement in which TAAIS made no admission of wrongdoing. As part of the settlement, the parties agreed to a limited injunction, which contains very minimal limitations on the ability of the TAAIS to communicate with primary care or other physicians who are not board certified allergists who provide allergy care to their patients. Under the agreement, TAAIS is free to continue educating Texans, their primary care physicians, and other specialists regarding appropriate standards for allergy care, and doing all we can to ensure safe and effective medical care for all Texans who suffer from allergic diseases. TAAIS looks forward to continued collaboration with and communication between the society, its allergist members and other Texas physicians providing allergy care to their patients.