When we look at the Medicare Part D prescription drug program as a whole, we see that it is unquestionably making a positive difference in the lives of the millions of seniors and beneficiaries with disabilities who depend on it. Enrollees have affordable plans and medications and those with severe health conditions have the guarantees that they will have access to the drugs they and their physicians have determined they need.
The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) provides information, programs, and tools that educate and empower those of us who—like me—live with mood disorders towards directing the treatment plans that will help us achieve wellness. DBSA advocates for the rights of individuals to choose the most appropriate treatments based on our own needs and concerns and the advice and guidance of our clinicians.
It would mean that discriminatory plan design and patient centered protections are a dwindling concern of our leading health agency. It would mean that a bureaucratic barrier is being constructed to block physician directed care and that short-term profit is outweighing long term health care costs – both individual costs and those to the Medicare program.
The existing Medicare Part D program of including “six protected classes” of medications is working. When the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) first implemented Part D, CMS determined that limiting a class to only two drugs was simply not enough for certain patients, including those with HIV, mental illness, cancer, epilepsy, and those undergoing organ transplantation. As a result, “six protected classes” were to give patients access to all the drugs in these classes.
We believe this initiative will ultimately lead to new understanding of the underlying causes of lupus along with new therapies for this disease and ultimately an improved quality of life for people living with lupus. For us it is all about the patient!
Lupus is complex and is arguably the most clinically diverse of all autoimmune diseases. Because of this, the scope of the Accelerating Medicines Partnership (AMP) is tailor made for a collaborative effort among the NIH, industry, academic medical research centers and non profit organization.
It's often said that baseball players have to generate 4 hits out of every 10 at-bats to be considered a Hall of Fame-caliber player. Meteorologists are criticized for inaccurate forecasts more often than not. But think about the drug development business: only one in every 5,000 to 10,000 compounds in drug discovery will make it through regulatory approval and even treatments that reach clinical trials only have a 16% chance of approval. (Source: Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.
Alzheimer’s disease in the United States is the sixth leading cause of death with more than five million Americans currently struggling with it on a daily basis. Alzheimer’s also represents an area of treatment which has largely failed to materialize.
Autoimmune diseases affect 50 million Americans and are a leading cause of death and disability — yet we have no cure. Historically, the first goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation focusing on making quality of life as good as possible. However, more needs to be done on greater research options for all autoimmune disease-related patients.