CMS Will Provide Coverage for Certain Drugs

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

A new Centers for Medicare andMedicaid Services (CMS) governmentpilot program will cover a substantialcost of some drugs for 50,000 Medicarebeneficiaries who otherwise wouldhave to wait until the Medicare ModernizationAct takes effect in 2006.Under the program, the governmentwill spend $500 million to pay forsome medications (ie, cancer and multiplesclerosis drugs) that can be takenat home by the patient. Congress hasdirected that 40% of the funding beallocated for oral anticancer medications.

To be eligible for the program, individualsmust meet the following criteria:be enrolled in Medicare Part A andPart B, Medicare must be their primarypayer, and they may not have comprehensivedrug coverage through othersources.

CMS is accepting applications untilSeptember 30, 2004. Participants willbe randomly selected from the cancerand noncancer groups.