Biden administration

Biden administration strengthens patient protections in accessing prescription drugs

“We applaud the Biden administration’s strengthening of the nondiscrimination regulation in order to ensure that patients, particularly those who rely on prescription drugs, are better protected against the discriminatory practices of some insurers and PBMs,” commented Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute. “Patients are being faced with high cost-sharing, excessive utilization management techniques, such as prior authorization, drug exclusions, and now even AI tools that decide what drugs they can receive. We can now be assured that, thanks to the ACA, they must be implemented in a nondiscriminatory manner.”

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Congress agrees to maintain funding for domestic HIV programs

“After House Republicans initially put at risk the nation’s progress in ending HIV, we are relieved that House and Senate congressional negotiators have agreed to maintain funding for domestic HIV prevention, care, and treatment programs,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute.

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Biden budget maintains domestic HIV funding & proposes PrEP & hepatitis C programs

“While we appreciate the proposed continued funding of  domestic HIV and hepatitis programs and acknowledge the legislatively imposed budget constraints and competing priorities, the reality is that, without serious increases, our nation cannot meet its goals to end the HIV and hepatitis epidemics on time,” commented Carl Schmid, Executive Director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute. “Now, we must take our case for any funding increases to Congress, which has found it difficult to agree on spending bills, and House Republicans have even proposed to cut domestic HIV spending this year by $767 million.”

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Federal civil rights office gives pass to insurer for HIV discrimination

“While it is reassuring that OCR formally investigated our complaint, the harm to people living with HIV has been going on for years. This was blatant discriminatory plan design and the entities charged with enforcing ACA’s patient protections let Blue Cross Blue Shield North Carolina off with not even a slap on the wrist,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute. “This is further proof that insurers are allowed to get away with as much as they can. And even when they are caught, there is no penalty. For insurance to work for people living with HIV and all patients, we need better federal and state regulation, oversight, and enforcement.”

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With Court victories, patient groups drop appeal in copay assistance case

“Now that the court has struck down the rule that allowed insurers and PBMs not to count copay assistance and clarified that the previous rule—requiring copay assistance to count in most instances—is now in effect, we now must turn to enforcement to ensure patients are no longer being financially harmed by copay accumulators,” said Carl Schmid, executive director of the HIV+Hepatitis Policy Institute, one of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit. “We are already hearing from patients that insurers are still subjecting them to these unscrupulous and now, illegal practices, and we will ensure that any unlawful practices stop.”

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