GlaxoSmithKline has announced that elderly and disabled patients who are eligible for Medicare drug benefits that took effect Jan. 1 will not lose the ability to get free drugs under the company’s patient assistant programs. In December, GSK notified patients eligible for Medicare D that they would not qualify for the free drug programs after May 15.
“The Medicare prescription drug benefit is a valuable program for millions of Americans, but we recognize that there are many elderly and disabled low-income patients who need additional help,” said Chris Viehbacher, GSK’s president of U.S. pharmaceuticals.
GSK plans to ask the federal government for an opinion whether patients enrolled in Medicare D can also participate in patient assistant programs.
For now, eligible patients must opt out of Medicare D to participate in GSK’s free drug programs.
About 200,000 of the 565,000 patients in GSK’s free drug programs are eligible for Medicare D.
Dicey TrOOP implications here. Stay tuned.