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Washington HIVers
report problems with Medicare drug plan

Washington HIVers
report problems with Medicare drug plan

Medicare prescription drug plan hampers access to anti-HIV drugs for many

HIV patients and AIDS advocates speaking to the Washington State Governor's Advisory Council on HIV/AIDS this week said many low-income HIVers in the state are having problems with the new Medicare prescription drug program, including an inability to get certain medications because they're not covered by participating insurers, the Seattle Times reported. Cumbersome preauthorization paperwork for some drugs also is resulting in treatment delays, according to testimony at the advisory council meeting. And some HIV patients are unable to afford the copayments for their drugs, according to AIDS health care advocates.

These problems are particularly worrisome for HIV patients, as missed doses can lead to the development of drug-resistant virus and treatment failure, the advocates told the panel.

A spokesman for the Seattle office of the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services said the agency is working to minimize problems in accessing anti-HIV drugs through the new prescription medication benefit. (The Advocate)

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