On the seventh day of the new Medicare drug benefit, Stephen Starnes began hearing voices again, ominous voices, and he started to beg for the medications he had been taking for 10 years. But his pharmacy could not get approval from his Medicare drug plan, so Mr. Starnes was admitted to a hospital here for treatment of paranoid schizophrenia
Mix-ups in the first weeks of the Medicare drug benefit have vexed many beneficiaries and pharmacists. Dr. Steven S. Sharfstein, president of the American Psychiatric Association, said the transition from Medicaid to Medicare had had a particularly severe impact on low-income patients with serious, persistent mental illnesses.
"Relapse, rehospitalization and disruption of essential treatment are some of the consequences," Dr. Sharfstein said.
24 states have had to take emergency actions to deal with George's mess. In the meantime the mentally ill can't get medications. Many can't afford their medications now even if they can get them......
For the first time, residents of Dayspring Village found this month that they were being charged co-payments for their drugs, typically $3 for each prescription. The residents take an average of eight or nine drugs, so the co-payments can take a large share of their cash allowance, which is $54 a month.Even after the insurer agreed to relax "prior authorization" requirements for a month, it was charging high co-payments for some drugs - $52 apiece for Abilify, an anti-psychotic medicine, and Depakote.
When one of these folks goes off because they could not get their meds and hurts someone I hope it is remembered who is to blame. George W. Bush. His "reform" was nothing but a handout to insurance companies and Big Pharma and here are the consequences.