U.S. Pain celebrated a cautious victory this month after the defeat of a controversial Medicare Part B proposal that would have incentivized the use of lower-cost drugs. U.S. Pain created and led a campaign, “Patients for Medicare Access,” to fight the change.
“Congressional leaders requested that the Obama administration withdraw the final rule implementing the proposal,” says Paul Gileno, president and founder of U.S. Pain, who published a Dec. 21 op-ed in The Hill about the campaign’s success. “While the rule could still be revived, we are cautiously optimistic that the effort has been successfully blocked.”
U.S. Pain and other advocacy groups argued the proposal would limit access to necessary treatments and put patients at risk by prioritizing cost over efficacy. They believed the rule would create a potentially painful or harmful trial-and-error process for finding the best medication, and would disproportionately impact vulnerable patients in specialty areas, like cancer and rheumatology.
Patients for Medicare Access fought back against the proposal by creating a coalition of providers, caregivers, and patient advocates, who worked together to contact elected officials about their concerns and raise public awareness about the issue.
Despite this recent success, the group says it remain watchful.
“We’re optimistic, but we’re keeping our eyes peeled for any other proposals or changes to Medicare that don’t have patients’ best interests at heart,” says Gileno. “If that happens, we’ll be ready.”
To learn more about Patients for Medicare Access, click here.