Protect Medicare and Cancer Drugs - Lung Cancer Support

Lung Cancer Support

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Protect Medicare and Cancer Drugs

Jody2 profile image
4 Replies

The Trump administration is proposing new cost reduction changes to your Medicare coverage which will limit the drugs available to you. These changes will negatively affect anyone needing treatment in any of six protected classes of medications. These currently protected classes include CANCER drugs, antidepressants, drugs to treat psychosis, anti-seizure medications, medications to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs, and HIV-AIDS drugs.

The proposed legislative changes would give Medicare insurers the ability to require "step therapy" This means patients will first have to try lower-cost medications even if their doctors disagree as to their effectiveness or if they are appropriate. The proposed legislation would also allow Medicare insurers to remove certain drugs from their formularies so that they would not be available to their subscribers.

This legislation has a good chance of passing as both the Democrats and the Republicans of the House and Senate have been attacking drug costs in the United States. Blaming drug costs as the main driver of our out-of-control healthcare costs is misguided. But blaming only drug costs ignores the many other out-of-control items that go into our healthcare burden, like the out of control costs that are attached to both hospital stays and hospital procedures. 

The time has come to let our members of congress and the president know that we demand that Medicare continue to protect people with cancer, those who need antidepressant medications, drugs to treat psychosis, anti-seizure medications, medications to prevent the rejection of transplanted organs, and HIV-AIDS drugs.

Patients need their doctors to make treatment decisions, not insurance companies. Our doctors have OUR best interests in mind; our insurance companies have THEIR own best interests driving their decision making. 

We demand that Medicare continues to protect the six protected classes of medication. To not continue to offer this protection is bad medicine, endangers lives, is bad governance, and would be a disgrace on our nation.

Cancer ABCs ( has started a national petition drive to let our members of congress know that we the people object to these changes. Please sign the petition, have your family members sign the petition, reach out to your friends, your online and social media communities and ask that they support us.

During the Obama Administration there was an attempt to roll back some of these protections, but an out pouring from Americans stopped the planned action. We need to do this again.

Please sign the petition and get your communities to join with us. It is all of our lives that is at risk.

To sign the petition go to

Thank You,


4 Replies
rdflynnjr profile image

I am thinking that this is a scam.

Denzie profile image
DenzieModerator in reply to rdflynnjr

Unfortunately, no, it’s not a scam. The way it’s written is exactly as described. They have to give you the cheaper drug first. Example if you have an EGFR mutation with brain mets they can insist you should go with Tarceva rather than Tagrisso which does a better job crossing the blood brain barrier and has demonstrated longer average progression free survival.

This will shorten lives and increase costs in the long run as cancer gets more difficult to treat as it becomes more advanced.

Denzie profile image

Thank you for putting the focus on this. Here’s a piece from the Cancer Action Network branch of the ACS.

anrean profile image

Signed. Very angry that my doctors cannot decide what is best for me! We need to fight back because Medicare and Social security are NOT the cause of our budget problems! These people are elected to represent ALL of us, not take kickbacks.

I am also angry that some of the medical cost goes to those seeking a warm bed for the night when they are not ill. More than once I have gone to the emergency room and seen homeless people taking up beds - the staff knows them by name! - and I'm left in the hall. There are warning shelters they can go to instead! A "sniffle" should not take precedence over a person who is struggling to breathe because of cancer. And I could go on and on about the ridiculousness of people gaming the system!!

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