Medicare says it will not reverse decision to cut anemia drug reimbursements

WASHINGTON The U.S. Medicare agency has said that it won’t reverse its decision to cut reimbursements for anemia drugs like Amgen’s Aranesp, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had received letters from physicians and others who were trying to persuade the agency, but they said not enough proof was delivered to change their minds. The CMS is standing by its statement that the drugs are overused and linked to increased risk of stroke and heart attacks.

The drugs are given to boost oxygen-carrying hemoglobin in the blood to combat anemia and avoid blood transfusions. In July, the CMS had said it would only reimburse for patients who hemoglobin levels fell below 10 grams per deciliter of a patient’s blood.

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