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CMS Shelves Proposal To Eliminate Classes of ‘Protected’ Part D Drugs

Complaints from patient groups and drug companies have forced the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) to drop its intention to change some Medicare Part D drug plan policies.

A March P&T article by Stephen Barlas detailed how the CMS wanted to drop antidepressants and immuno-suppressants from the list of Part D “protected” drug classes, for which prescription drug plans must provide “all or substantially all” drugs in the class. In a March 10 letter to U.S. Representative Henry Waxman (D-California), Marilyn Tavenner, the CMS administrator, referred to a number of changes the CMS had proposed and said, “Given the complexities of these issues and stakeholder input, we do not plan to finalize these proposals at this time.”