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Fail first requirements (also called step therapy)

Drug plans may require an enrollee to try one drug before the plan will pay for another drug. Step therapy aims to control costs by requiring that enrollees use more common drugs which are usually less expensive. The process of beginning drug therapy for a medical condition with the most cost-effective and safest drug therapy and progressing to other more costly or risky therapy is called Step Therapy or Fail First Requirement. Progression to a new medication is predicated on the former medication failing to provide symptomatic relief or cure; hence 'fail first'. Physicians and drug plans may disagree on the proper Step Therapy and patients are encouraged to become knowledgeable and decisive in agreeing to protocols. Also called 'step protocol'.

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