Patient, Physician Groups Oppose Budget Measure

Last year, patient and physician advocacy groups fought hard to restore patient protections to the New York Medicaid budget. They were successful in achieving the restoration of “prescriber prevails” – allowing the physician or provider to decide what medicine a patient needs – for atypical antipsychotics.

However, in the 2013-2014 Executive Budget unveiled yesterday by Gov. Cuomo, this provision was repealed, leaving persons with severe mental illness at risk for not receiving the medications they need.

Patient and physician groups took immediate action to express opposition to this proposal. Mental Health Association in NYS, Gay Men’s Health Crisis (GMHC), NYS Osteopathic Medical Society and the Association of Hispanic Mental Health Professionals all released statements yesterday criticizing the governor for needlessly removing a significant patient protection, especially at a time where so much emphasis is being placed on effectively treating mental illness.

As stated by Janet Weinberg, COO of GMHC, “The Governor’s decision is especially perplexing given the actions taken by him and the legislature last week to help prevent the repetition of recent tragedies involving guns and mental illness. This is the exact wrong time for New York to switch course and restrict access to antipsychotic medications.”

Click here for the complete statements.

-Jame Venditti, 1/23/13