SPRINGFIELD – Under a new proposal from State Senator Laura Murphy, treatments for Alzheimer’s disease may become more accessible.

“Alzheimer’s disease is a progressive and debilitating condition that requires prompt and appropriate treatment,” said Murphy (D-Des Plaines). “Every moment counts for patients and their families facing this devastating disease, by removing barriers to treatment we allow them to receive timely and effective care.”

The measure would require the State Employees Group Insurance Program to cover all medically necessary FDA-approved treatments or medications to slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease. It would also require the program to cover all diagnostic testing for a physician to determine the appropriate use of treatments or medications.

In addition, the treatments would not be subject to step therapy, which requires patients to take one or more alternative medications or treatments before they can access the one prescribed by their doctor. Many available treatments are only effective in the early stages of the disease. Roadblocks such as step therapy can delay or prevent those in the early stages of Alzheimer’s from receiving those treatments.

“Recognizing the urgency of addressing the complex needs of patients living with Alzheimer’s ensures that they receive timely access to treatments that may slow the progression of the disease and improve their overall quality of life.” Murphy said.

Senate Bill 3318 passed the Senate Insurance Committee Wednesday. It now goes to the full Senate for further deliberation