Michael Wood is a 16-year-old Youth Ambassador for the National Psoriasis Foundation. After experiencing difficulty running and pain during physical activity, Michael was diagnosed with psoriatic arthritis at the age of 13.
Before he could receive the treatment originally prescribed by his doctor, his insurance company required that Michael go through a step therapy treatment regimen. This process lasted over a year, during which Michael experienced lupus-like symptoms due to side effects and significant deterioration of his joints due to his psoriatic arthritis.
In March 2017, Michael appeared before the Texas state Senate Committee on Business & Commerce to testify in support of SB 680 – proposed legislation that would enact an exemption to the step therapy process for patients like Michael. Thanks to Michael’s and other patients’ courage in speaking out, SB 680 was signed by Governor Greg Abbott and will begin improving the step therapy process for patients.