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How Medicare Rx Drug Coverage Affects Patient Choice:
A Firsthand Account

August 14, 2003

The article Medicare Rx Reform: The Road to Medical Serfdom cites the firsthand experience of a 30-year-old woman receiving disability coverage under Medicare. She sent the following message via e-mail to the Institute for Health Freedom. She agreed to share this information, but requested that her name be withheld.

I am a 30 year old woman who has M.S. [multiple sclerosis] and thought that Medicare covering Avonex [a prescription drug] was a pretty good idea, until it [the new Medicare coverage policy] turned my whole world upside down.

I used to receive my Avonex through Avonex Direct Delivery (A.D.D.) and my husband went through all of the training [to learn how to give] me my injections every week.

This worked out great for me because I can no longer drive due to low vision. Until March 3rd, when a woman called me from A.D.D. and told me that my shipment set up for the 4th would be canceled because of the new policy passed by Medicare to cover Avonex, but only if it is administered by a doctor.

Kind of a problem for someone who cannot drive to get there and lives approximately 50 miles from her neurologist who prescribed the drug for her. I am also insured through a state-funded program which will cover the medication. But A.D.D. says that I cannot go through them [and] that I have to go through Medicare.

Now I have to figure out what I am going to do because I will not get my meds [medications] in time for my next injection, and I am very upset with the whole way this has been handled....

Medicare Coverage Should Be a Choice

If I would have known that this was [going to] happen, I would have never entered this [Medicare] program to begin with because I think we should have been given the option to use our Medicare instead of being forced to use it when I have insurance which will cover this medication.

This article was originally published in the May/June 2003 issue of Health Freedom Watch.