Oct. 04, 2012

People With Lupus Deserve Access to Full Range of Medications Under Affordable Care Act

The Lupus Foundation of America is calling on the Department of Health and Human Services to ensure that people with chronic diseases, like lupus, get access to a full range of medications under the Affordable Care Act. The Foundation recently co-signed a letter urging HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to throw out guidance in the Department’s essential health benefits bulletin that would allow private insurers to limit the number of medications available to patients under each drug class to just one.

The letter, signed by 57 health advocacy organizations, was delivered to Secretary Sebelius this week.

Limiting medications, the letter says, would be “completely unworkable” for people with chronic health conditions. “A robust formulary is necessary because not all patients respond to medicines in the same way,” the letter adds. “Physicians may need to change medicines over the course of an illness, patients may need more than one medication from the same class at the same time, and patients taking multiple medicines need alternatives to avoid harmful interactions.”

Limiting medications to just one drug per class also does not meet the non-discriminatory protections outlined in the Affordable Care Act, the letter says.

See a full copy of the letter here.

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