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:
- mental illness
- 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.
Andrew Powaleny is Senior Director of Public Affairs at PhRMA and leads the organizations scientific communications. Before joining PhRMA in 2015, he worked in public affairs for a small firm in Washington, DC and served as Deputy Press Secretary for the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. Andrew came to Washington, D.C. via Connecticut with a degree from Eastern Connecticut State University where he majored in public policy and government. Andrew is active as a runner and volunteer with the DC Front Runners; most recently serving on its Board of Directors for three years as co-race director. He is also a member of the NLGJA: The Association of LGBTQ Journalists and mentors students through his alumni association with The Fund for American Studies. Andrew is passionate about scientific innovation, especially for mental illness, and his heroes are the men and women of America’s biopharmaceutical research companies.