CMS responds to drug denial allegations

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The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services defended its Medicare Part D policy regarding "off-label" drugs following accusations that the policy hurts beneficiaries.

CMS noted that its policy does not deny "off-label" drugs, as a report recently charged. Rather, it limits the use of drugs whose uses are not approved by the Food and Drug Administration and which are not in pharmacological compendia, the Bureau of National Affairs reported.

The Medicare Rights Center recommended that CMS adjust its regulations regarding "off-label" drugs. Beneficiaries are being denied coverage of certain drugs because the Bush administration has misinterpreted a statute, it said in a report released last week.