Action Center - Six Classes

In November 2018, the Centers for the Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) proposed a rule to make changes to the Six Protected Classes. While we applaud CMS’ efforts to lower drug prices, we recognize as pharmacists that the least expensive medication may not always be the best medication for the patient. Unwanted side effects that can lead to hospitalization and physician visits can add unneeded patient harm as well as costs to the health care system in areas outside of the cost of medications. Savings gained by restricting access to drugs in the Six Protected Classes will only shift the cost burden and lead to additional costs for patients, providers, and taxpayers.

In response to this proposal, ASCP and 75 of our members wrote a letter to the agency urging them to reconsider these life-threatening changes. The Society also partnered with NCPA and SCPC to write a letter that addresses our collective concerns regarding CMS’ Proposed Changes to Lower Drug Prices in Medicare Advantage and Part D. 

ASCP has joined with The Partnership for Part D Access to fight for protections for America’s most vulnerable patients. ASCP, in collaboration with a broad-based coalition of healthcare stakeholders including over 20 diverse patient advocacy organizations, has continually been engaged in discussion with lawmakers on and off Capitol Hill in support of maintaining the current Six Protected Classes policy. Our efforts to maintain the Six Protected Classes proved to be successful; in May 2019, CMS announced that it would not finalize the proposal that would have substantially weakened the Six Protected Classes policy. 

ASCP remains diligent in following this issue and remaining a member of the Partnership for Part D Access and MAPRx to ensure moving forward that these classes stay protected. 

View our one-page brief on the Six Protected Classes here.

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