The American Psychiatric Association applauds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) for dropping its plan to make changes to its Medicare Part D prescription program that would have eliminated protected status for certain antidepressants and in the future, antipsychotics. The plan was met with heavy bipartisan opposition on Capitol Hill, from patient groups, and industry stakeholders, including the APA. APA recently submitted letters to the CMS and Congress on the evidence base for continuing protections for antidepressants and antipsychotics used for the treatment of Medicare beneficiaries.
Currently, Medicare has six protected drug categories. CMS proposed eliminating two of those starting in 2015 with antidepressant drugs and those that help suppress the immune system. The agency also said in the draft rule that it was considering dropping protected status for antipsychotic drugs in 2016.