Dr. Bryan T. Green of Digestive Disease Group, PA went to Washington, D.C. again this year on March 3 and 4 for appointments at the Senate and House offices to advocate for reducing the cost and increasing access for patients to prescription medications. Many insurance companies have created Pharmacy Benefit Managers (PBMs) to manage prescription benefits for their enrollees but unfortunately this has contributed to rising cost of prescriptions. He also advocated to reduce “step edits” that health insurers use to require patients to try and fail several less effective medications before they will cover the more expensive but also more effective medication. Dr. Green is the immediate past President of the South Carolina Gastroenterology Association that represents over 100 gastroenterology physicians in the state. The trip was part of the public policy forum for the Digestive Disease National Coalition (DDNC) which is a national advocacy organization for patients with digestive illnesses. In conjunction with its member organizations, DDNC seeks to raise awareness of digestive diseases in Congress and in the media. There are over 40 organizations within the DDNC including the American Gastroenterology Association, Celiac Disease Foundation, Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, Colon Cancer Alliance, and a number of state gastroenterology associations along with many others.
Dr. Green’s children Forrest and Saige accompanied him Monday to his appointments at the offices of Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott of South Carolina and Senator Ron Weis of Wisconsin and Senator Richard Durbin of Illinois. Dr. Green and his children are pictured in the Senate Rotunda (following). In the afternoon they visited the offices of Representatives Jeff Duncan of South Carolina, Adam Kinzinger of Illinois, and Brad Schneider of Illinois.
March is National Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month. Colon cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States and one of the most preventable as it begins as a single polyp that if identified during colonoscopy, can be removed before it ever becomes cancerous. Due to increased screening, the United States has been one of the first countries in the world to actually show a decreased incidence of colon cancer. If all eligible individuals followed current screening recommendations, it is felt that over 70% of colon cancers could be prevented.