Proposed Medicare drug change stirs access worries

by Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar

In a move that some fear could compromise care for Medicare recipients, the Obama administration is proposing to remove special protections that guarantee seniors access to a wide selection of three types of drugs.

The three classes of drugs—widely used antidepressants, antipsychotics and drugs that suppress the immune system to prevent the rejection of a transplanted organ—have enjoyed special "protected" status since the launch of the Medicare prescription benefit in 2006.

That has meant that the that deliver prescription benefits to seniors and disabled beneficiaries must cover "all or substantially all" medications in the class. But now the administration wants to remove that protected status, saying it's no longer needed to guarantee access and would save millions of dollars for taxpayers and beneficiaries.

5 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Geography affects what drugs seniors prescribed

Oct 15, 2013

New research shows that where seniors live makes a difference in the medications they're prescribed. Some miss out on key treatments while others are more likely to get riskier ones.

Recommended for you

Medicare hospital fund to last 4 years longer

2 hours ago

(AP)—The government says Medicare's finances have improved. The program's hospital trust fund won't be exhausted until 2030—four years later than last year's estimate.

Green spaces found to increase birth weight

3 hours ago

Mothers who live near green spaces deliver babies with significantly higher birth weights, according to a new study, "Green Spaces and Adverse Pregnancy Outcomes" published in the journal, Occupational and Environmental Me ...

User comments