Obama administration has pulled back its proposal to allow insurers limit Medicare coverage for certain classes of drugs helpful in the treatment of schizophrenia and depression amid pressure from members of Congress, pharmaceutical firms and patients.
According to Medicare officials, the new proposal by the Obama administration would have saved money and also help in reducing the overuse of the drugs.
The proposal faced political problems and some of the Democrats joined Republicans and denounced the changes. They said it would harm the Medicare beneficiaries.
The prescription drug benefit of Medicare started in 2006 and since the government wanted insurers to cover all or substantially all the drugs classified in 6 treatment areas. In January it was proposed for three types of medications, which are antipsychotic, antidepressants and transplant patients medicine.
On Monday Marilyn B. Tavenner said the officials would not pursue the proposal.
She is the administrator of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. She said they are not planning to finalize the proposals now citing the complexities of the issues and also the input of stakeholders.
Marilyn added further that the administration has planned to hold off on three other proposals. In the first, insurers can offer maximum two prescription drug plans to beneficiaries in same region. Next, insurers would give the Medicare beneficiaries greater access to small community pharmacies. In this the insurers need to offer contracts to any retail drugstores who accept the terms and conditions. In the third proposal government can intervene in the negotiations between pharmacies and insurers.