Proposed Medicare drug change stirs access worries

January 10, 2014 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.

Explore further: Medicare monthly premium to stay at $104.90

Related Stories

Geography affects what drugs seniors prescribed

October 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

Exercise and vitamin D better together for heart health

April 27, 2017

Johns Hopkins researchers report that an analysis of survey responses and health records of more than 10,000 American adults for nearly 20 years suggests a "synergistic" link between exercise and good vitamin D levels in ...

'Diet' products can make you fat, study shows

April 25, 2017

High-fat foods are often the primary target when fighting obesity, but sugar-laden "diet" foods could be contributing to unwanted weight gain as well, according to a new study from the University of Georgia.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.