APA Statement on Passage of House Prescription Drug Cost Lowering Legislation

WASHINGTON, D.C. — In the wake of the House passage today of H.R. 3, The Lower Drug Costs Now Act, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced its support for several provisions in the bill that benefit mental health care.

In addition to efforts that limit out-of-pocket costs for our patients, APA appreciates the House’s attention in H.R. 3 to additional investments to stem the opioid epidemic, fund Community Health Centers, increase resources devoted to the Precision Medicine Initiative and the BRAIN Initiative of the National Institutes of Health, boost financial support to help low income seniors afford their prescription drugs, and provide a modest two-year update for physicians’ services.

 “These provisions will help us address the opioid epidemic and fund important research that will eventually lead to better quality care,” said APA President Bruce Schwartz, M.D. “This bill will also help our patients afford their live-saving medications.”

“H.R. 3 expands Medicare coverage for vision, dental and hearing, but it doesn’t expand mental health coverage,” said APA CEO and Medical Director Saul Levin, M.D., M.P.A. “Many physical illnesses are exacerbated by mental illness. We call upon Congress and the Administration to consider the importance of adequate mental health coverage in the Medicare program.”

American Psychiatric Association
The American Psychiatric Association, founded in 1844, is the oldest medical association in the country. The APA is also the largest psychiatric association in the world with more than 38,500 physician members specializing in the diagnosis, treatment, prevention, and research of mental illnesses. APA’s vision is to ensure access to quality psychiatric diagnosis and treatment. For more information please visit www.psychiatry.org.

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