Archive for Thursday, December 24, 2009

Medicare Part D to only cover FDA-listed drugs

December 24, 2009, 3:18 p.m. Updated January 26, 2010, 12:59 p.m.


Beginning Jan. 1, The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will reimburse Part D sponsors only for FDA-listed drugs.

The policy is part of a safety initiative to ensure that Medicare Part D enrollees receive prescription drugs that are properly registered with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

According to CMS, most Part D enrollees should experience no difficulty with filling their prescriptions under this policy.

To minimize beneficiary disruption, CMS has contacted pharmacies, Part D sponsors, wholesalers and manufacturers of the policy.

For more information, visit

The story has been clarified since its original posting. The policy change was for FDA-listed drugs, not approved.


John Hamm 8 years, 4 months ago

"CMS has conducted pharmacies" Ooooops. Probably should be "informed?"

Godot 8 years, 4 months ago

Does this mean that medicare part D will no longer cover marijuana, coke, meth, ecstasy and heroin? This will be a major upset to the lifestyles of many seniors. Where is AARP on this?

Rusty Thomas 8 years, 4 months ago

Probably meant "contacted" === just a misprint.

Godot 8 years, 4 months ago

At leat Viagra, Cialis and Levitra receive FDA approval. Whew! That was a close one.

notajayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Godot (Anonymous) says…

"Does this mean that medicare part D will no longer cover marijuana ... "

Probably not - but Marinol is FDA approved.

"coke ..."

Cocaine is, I believe, already approved by the FDA as a topical anesthetic.

"meth ..."

Adderall is close enough.

"heroin ..."

No, but there's plenty of other opiates.

Most legitimate psychotropics (and quite a few prescription meds for physical ailments) will give you a buzz if ingested properly in sufficient quantities.

BTW, all it takes to get FDA approval as 'safe and effective' is two things:

1) It can't kill you (well, that's not true either - many pharamceuticals can and will kill you eventually - it just can't kill you faster than the disease it's treating is going to kill you); and

2) It has to be more effective than placebo.The placebo effect has been measured for various conditions to be anywhere from 0-75%. So if the placebo effect is 30% (about the norm) and the medication has an effect on 35% of the research participants, it's 'effective', but will have no effect on almost 2/3 of the population.

The link they provided was just for Medicare's website, not to anything particularly having to do with FDA approvals - anyone know where the actual guidelines are? I doubt they ever paid for non-approved meds. Maybe the change is that they'll no longer pay for off-label prescriptions?

notajayhawk 8 years, 4 months ago

Godot (Anonymous) says…

"At leat Viagra, Cialis and Levitra receive FDA approval. Whew! That was a close one."*&p_li=&p_topview=1

"Question Are any drug categories not included in Medicare prescription drug coverage?

"Answer Yes. Certain drugs are excluded, which means they can't be provided as part of standard Medicare prescription drug coverage. Some examples of excluded drugs include benzodiazepines, barbiturates, drugs for weight loss or gain, and erectile dysfunction drugs."


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