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Medicare's Privileged Drug Classes: Price Protections Through 2007

This article was originally published in RPM Report

Executive Summary

CMS is forcing Medicare drug plans to cover "substantially all" brands in six key classes through 2007. That's good for some big brands but it could hasten the end of the private market system for Part D. The decision means that drug marketers in the six protected classes--antipsychotics, antidepressants, anticonvulsants, antiretrovirals, antineoplastics, and immunosuppressants-will continue to hold the upper hand in discount negotiations with managed care plans for about eighteen months, until the wrangling for 2008 plan prices begins in mid-2007.

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