Medicare Cancer Drug Benefit Enrollment Period Expanded
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has announced that it will the expand the enrollment period for the Medicare Replacement Drug Demonstration until 50,000 people are enrolled. Only 4,000 cancer patients have signed up so far for Medicare coverage of their cancer drugs.
Medicare beneficiaries with cancer and other serious diseases who enrolled early in a new large-scale demonstration program are now saving up to 90 percent on the cost of self-administrable drugs that replace drugs previously delivered only in physician offices, Dr. Mark B. McClellan, CMS administrator, announced on Sept. 10.
Beneficiaries with cancer, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and other serious diseases who applied by Aug. 16 began receiving benefits on Sept. 1. Those individuals who enroll by Sept. 30 will begin receiving benefits by Oct. 18.
The demonstration program is intended to provide savings on certain drugs covered by Medicare Part B for beneficiaries without drug coverage. Until recently, patients were required to have these drugs administered by a physician. Under this demonstration program, "replacement" drugs are available for self-administration, either orally or through self-injection, which saves money and, for many, is more convenient.
Information about the demonstration, including brochures, application forms, and a complete list of covered drugs, may be downloaded from the CMS Web site at http://www.cms.hhs.gov/researchers/
Scientific Presentations, Survivor Reflection Papers Available Online
A series of personal reflection papers written by cancer advocates who participated in the Survivor-Researcher Mentor Program also can be found on the OCS Web site. In collaboration with OCS and ACS, the Lance Armstrong Foundation funded the mentor program to provide a forum for research and advocacy communities to discuss the state of cancer survivorship science. All post-conference materials are available at http://cancercontrol.cancer.gov/ocs/pathways/.
President's Cancer Panel Holds First of Four Meetings
The Panel will hold three additional meetings on this topic, after which it will develop a report to the President and Congress with recommendations. For more information on this series of meetings, go to http://pcp.cancer.gov.
Evans to Speak on Obesity and Cancer
This free lecture is open to the public and no registration is necessary. For more information go to: http://www3.cancer.gov/prevention/nutrition/index.html.