Yesterday, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) announced it would not pursue a controversial proposal to remove antidepressants as a "protected class" under Medicare Part D at this time.
Since the proposal was first announced in January 2014 the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, the National Health Council, and other chronic disease and mental health organizations worked to raise awareness of the negative impact that this change in policy would have on people living with mental illness and submitted comments to CMS urging them to scrap the proposed rule. CMS' announcement shows, once again, the value and power of the collective patient advocacy voice!
As a significant amount of people with mental disorders and who may be at risk for suicide rely on antidepressants; removing these drugs from the protected classes would have limited access to the medications needed to treat them. AFSP applauds CMS on its decision and looks forward to continuing to work with CMS to protect access to necessary medications and care for people living with mental illness.
You can view the letters sent to CMS by John Madigan, AFSP's Vice President of Public Policy, and Myrl Weinberg, Chief Executive Officer of the National Health Council, below.