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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Feds approve YMCA diabetes program despite drug maker opposition

Federal regulators will move ahead with a national test of Medicare coverage for a YMCA diabetes prevention program over the objections of the pharmaceutical industry, which sells drugs including increasingly expensive insulin to treat disease.

The final rule, announced Wednesday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, is designed to speed Medicare coverage of a program to combat a disease  that a quarter of people 65 and older have. National trade associations representing hospitals and doctors enthusiastically supported CMS' plan in comments filed with the agency.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) trade group, however, said in its comments that CMS is setting a "flawed precedent" and acting upon only "preliminary" evidence. A federal contractor studied the program for at least two years and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) analyzed it for about 20 years before that.


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