On December 8, 2003, the Medicare Prescription Drug, Improvement, and Modernization Act (MMA) was signed into law by former President George W. Bush. Prior to the enactment of the MMA, Medicare prescription drug coverage was very limited, and was generally only available for physician-administered drugs, drugs necessary for the effective use of durable medical equipment such as inhalers, and a handful of drugs listed specifically in the statute. When Congress established the Medicare Part D prescription drug benefit, it recognized that certain drug classes were vital to the beneficiaries whose lives, in many cases, depended on those drugs, and that their prescribers needed access to the full range of treatment options. For example, Congress expressed significant concern regarding the needs of Medicare beneficiaries with mental illness, as illustrated in the Conference Report that accompanied the MMA. The MMA corrected a major gap in Medicare coverage, adding a new Part D to the program and provided coverage for FDA-approved drugs that had not previously been covered. Click "PLAW 108 Published 173' to view the law.
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