Medicare Drug Plan Changes Withdrawn by White House

Proposal met heavy resistance from patient groups

TUESDAY, March 11, 2014 (HealthDay News) -- Proposed changes to the Medicare prescription drug program have been withdrawn by the Obama administration after strong opposition from patient groups.

The changes would have included removal of three classes of drugs -- antidepressants, antipsychotics, and immune system-suppressing drugs used in transplant patients -- from a special protected list that guarantees seniors access to a wide number of important medications, the Associated Press reported.

It was estimated that the changes would save a total of $729 million by 2019. However, the proposal met heavy resistance from patient groups such as the National Alliance on Mental Illness and the National Kidney Foundation.

In a letter to Congress on Monday, Medicare administrator Marilyn Tavenner said the White House will not proceed with the changes, the AP reported.

Other Health Highlights: March 11, 2014

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