The power of advocacy paid off! The Lupus Research Institute and our National Coalition of patient groups joined 40+ organizations to formally voice strong objections to proposed changes that would have limited Medicare patients’ access to critical medications -- many of which are important for people with lupus. Responding to an overwhelming outpouring from many stakeholders during the Open Comments period, the Center for Medicare Services (CMS) responded that it will not finalize ANY of the proposed changes to the Six Protected Classes policy, including immunosuppressants and anti-depressants.
Read the letter that helped persuade CMS to halt its plans – the letter we are proud to acknowledge was written by Kathleen Arntsen, President/CEO of the Lupus Foundation of Mid and Northern New York, an LRI Coalition member who led the grassroots initiative. Click here to read the letter CMS sent to Senator Kay Hagan stating that the agency will not move forward with the changes to the 2015 Medicare Advantage and Part D rule.
Because of our collective efforts, millions of Medicare beneficiaries will continue to be able to take medications they depend on. We can all take great pride and satisfaction in this well-won victory and confirmation that advocacy really does make an impact.
But many challenges affecting treatment for people with lupus and other chronic diseases still need to be overcome. Please visit the LRI Legislative Action Center to learn how you can get involved as we get ready to go to the Hill March 25. We have made major progress and will keep going until all patients with chronic diseases like lupus can get the treatment they need and deserve.