An Exclusive Continuing Education Publication of Acadiana Consultant Pharmacy Service
Author, Publisher, Editor-in Chief, Typesetter & Printer, Charles S. Feucht,PD,FASCP PharmD candidate
Medication News & Update
Pharmacy leaders are pushing for fixes in Medicare Part D.
One BIG problem is that standard Medicare plans do not cover many drugs...niacin, benzodiazepines, cough/cold meds, and others. This is because the federal plan excluded these drugs from coverage not due to formulary restrictions by the indivdual plans.
Niacin. It's excluded because it's classified as a vitamin.
Pharmacy and medical associations are trying to get Medicare to reclassify Niaspan and Niacor as lipid-lowering drugs. For patients who can't afford Niaspan or Niacor, we suggest a reputable IMMEDIATE-release niacin
Benzodiazepines. For sleep, we suggest a generic benzo...or a covered drug such as Ambien, Sonata, Lunesta, or Rozerem. But keep in mind that the generic benzo might cost less than a brand-name copay.
For anxiety, suggest an SSRI (paroxetine, etc), venlafaxine, or buspirone.
Barbiturates.Iit may be better to pay for phenobarbital...if the patient seizures have been stable some timewith this medication. Often withdrawal r changes to another agent preciptates seizures.
Cough and cold products. Standard plans don't cover OTC or Rx products such as Mucinex, Tussionex, Tessalon, etc.