Since Medicare Part D was created, seniors and people living with disabilities have been assured appropriate access to six specific classes of medicines (also known as the protected classes). The six protected classes help ensure patient access to medications, which in turn helps them maintain their often extensive or complicated treatments associated with diseases like HIV, mental illness, cancer, epilepsy and those undergoing organ transplantation.
This important policy allows patients to access, “all or substantially all” medications within these categories regardless of price, which gives patients the critical ability to maintain specific drug regimens prescribed by their doctors. Further, this access helps ensure patients are adherent to the medicines they need to manage chronic conditions and live longer, healthier lives.
This week’s Conversations forum asks leading health experts: Why are Medicare Part D’s six protected classes important for patients? Be sure to check out the responses from our contributors and we encourage you to join the Conversation by sharing your thoughts in the comment section.
Andrew Powaleny Andrew Powaleny is Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA. Before joining PhRMA in 2015, he worked at the House Energy and Commerce Committee and later as a communications consultant. Andrew came to Washington, D.C. via Connecticut and proudly sings with the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington, runs with the DC Front Runners and serves on the Alumni Council for The Fund for American Studies. He is also a member of the National Lesbian Gay Journalists Association.