Clinicians prescribing antidepressant medication to elderly and disabled Medicare patients have a wide array of choices because antidepressants are among the 6 protected classes of medications in Medicare Part D. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) requires Part D plans to cover “all or substantially all” drugs in these classes to ensure vulnerable populations’ access to needed medications and to reduce the ability of Part D plans to restrict coverage of drugs used by beneficiaries with high expected costs. However, this requirement has also reduced Part D plans’ abilities to negotiate lower prices with drug companies marketing those drugs.1
Bao Y, Tang Y, Donohue J. Retaining Part D’s Comprehensive Coverage of Antidepressants: Not a Silver Bullet. JAMA Psychiatry. 2015;72(3):201–202. doi:10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.2186
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