It’s been a while since I’ve posted anything and this one is out of my normal lane.  As you know, mostly I write about environmental news that is not reported in the mainstream media that is important to knowing and understanding about how we citizens are being effected by events.  I try to alert you early on to trends that I believe are going to grow into important developments.  That said, the following has some connection to one of my regular topics of public health.  It is the attempt by the Trump Administration to restrict the medications that are essential to millions and millions of Americans.  Without getting into my personal health issues I will say that it is entirely possible that if this endeavor is accomplished I would be one of those personally impacted as I know many of you receiving this would be also.
Here’s the crux of the initiative:  
“the Trump regime has moved forward on plans to restrict access to life-saving medications that are provided by Medicare Part D.”
“Health insurance plans, the Times reports “would under the proposal, reduce the number of prescription drugs that must be made available to people with cancer, AIDS, depression, schizophrenia”.”
“Medicare’s prescription drug plans must cover almost all drugs in the six protected classes: antidepressants; antipsychotic medicines, used to treat schizophrenia and certain related disorders; immunosuppressant drugs, to prevent rejection of organ transplants; anti-epilepsy drugs; antiretrovirals, used in treating H.I.V./AIDS; and many cancer drugs.”
Completely separate from the above, after over 6 years of having a static format my webpage has been completely overhauled and revamped.  Wander around it a bit and enjoy.  Take a look at the expanded photo gallery especially.  And thanks for continuing to support my small endeavor.  Please know that I greatly appreciate your comments and feedback so keep it coming.  
Though HIV diagnoses among women have declined in recent years, more than 7,000 women received an HIV diagnosis in 2016. Black/African Americana women are disproportionately affected by HIV, compared with women of other races/ethnicities. Of the total number of womenb living with diagnosed HIV at the end of 2015, 59% (137,998) were African American, 19% (43,086) were Hispanic/Latina, and 17% (38,992) were white.
Though HIV diagnoses among women have declined in recent years, more than 7,000 women received an HIV diagnosis in 2016. Black/African American women are disproportionately affected by HIV, compared with women of other races/ethnicities. Of the total number of women living with diagnosed HIV at the end of 2015, 59% (137,998) were African American, 19% (43,086) were Hispanic/Latina, and 17% (38,992) were white. Centers for Disease Control

The New York Times reported that the Trump regime has moved forward on plans to restrict access to life-saving medications that are provided by Medicare Part D.

It was only a few weeks ago that the cheeto’s administration halted fetal cell cure research for AIDS, Cancer and other serious illnesses.

Health insurance plans, the Times reports “would under the proposal, reduce the number of prescription drugs that must be made available to people with cancer, AIDS, depression, schizophrenia”.

Robert Pear writes:

Approximately 45 million people have outpatient drug coverage through Part D of Medicare. Benefits are delivered by prescription drug plans offered by insurance companies under contract with Medicare.
The insurers secure discounts on many medicines by negotiating prices with drug manufacturers. If they could exclude certain drugs in the six therapeutic classes, they could negotiate better deals, the Trump administration said.
snip:

The coverage requirement has been in place since it was adopted by the George W. Bush administration in 2006 to ensure that Medicare beneficiaries would have access to “all or substantially all drugs” in the six treatment categories.

Trump administration officials say that drug makers have little incentive to negotiate because they know that Medicare’s prescription drug plans must cover almost all drugs in the six protected classes: antidepressants; antipsychotic medicines, used to treat schizophrenia and certain related disorders; immunosuppressant drugs, to prevent rejection of organ transplants; anti-epilepsy drugs; antiretrovirals, used in treating H.I.V./AIDS; and many cancer drugs.

POZ Magazine comments on the news reported by the New York Times.

“The Trump administration proposal is bad medicine and dangerous to people living with HIV,” Carl Schmid, the deputy executive director of the advocacy group The AIDS Institute, told the Times. “Not all HIV medications are the same. The Medicare Part D program is working well for people with HIV, and there is no reason to take these draconian actions.”

What’s more, the proposal could allow insurers to require a client to obtain prior authorization for a medication as well as to try a cheaper medicine before the insurer would cover a costlier one for the same condition—the latter requirement is a process known as step therapy.

“Step therapy is unheard of in the treatment of HIV due to the danger of developing resistance to an entire class of drugs and potential side effects,” writes The AIDS Institute in a related press release condemning the Trump plan.

“This proposal,” the institute continues, “runs contrary to current U.S. government HIV treatment guidelines, which state that prior authorizations for HIV drugs ‘result in fewer prescriptions filled and increased nonadherence….and have substantially reduced timely access to medications.’”

 Nancy Pelosi and the new Democratic Congress will be able to nip this boneheaded plan in the bud. This is why we vote.

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