30 advocacy groups as part the Federal AIDS Policy Partnership (FAPP) are urging Health and Human Services (HHS) Secretary-designee Xavier Becerra to rescind a policy change from the Trump administration that would severely weaken access to life-saving HIV treatments. Their letter echoes a recent flood of complaints triggered by the new Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation (CMMI) Part D Payment Modernization (PDM) Model, concluding that impending changes to the Medicare Part D ‘six protected classes’ policy would exacerbate the difficulties experienced by the HIV/ AIDS community.
The letter explains that the six protected class policy has allowed those living with HIV to avoid the burdens of step therapy to access needed medications, as patients often require more complex treatments due to comorbidities and resistance to other antiretrovirals. Stripping away access to these medications would also leave patients vulnerable to discrimination by Part D plan sponsors. Not only is a rollback of these protections harmful to patients, it is also inconsistent with federal HIV treatment guidelines.
“The changes move in the wrong direction for particularly vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries, and in direct opposition to what Congress intended when it established the statutory two drugs per class requirement and the six protected classes,” the letter states. “We again request that you rescind these policy changes to the PDM model.”
Signatories include: AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF), AIDS Action Baltimore, AIDS Alabama, AIDS Alliance for Women, Infants, Children, Youth & Families, AIDS Foundation Chicago, AIDS United, American Academy of HIV Medicine, APLA Health, Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation, Community Access National Network (CANN), Community Education Group, Community Research Initiative, Inc. (CRI), Georgia Equality, HealthHIV, HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, HIV Dental Alliance, HIV Medicine Association, iHealth, National Alliance of State and Territorial AIDS Directors (NASTAD), NMAC, Positive Health Solutions of the University of Illinois, Positive Women's Network-USA, Prevention Access Campaign, Rural Health Service Providers Network, San Francisco AIDS Foundation, SisterLove, Inc., The AIDS Institute, Vivent Health
The letter can be read here.
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