On Jan. 1, Medicaid, through its managed care companies, will be able to require prior authorization for atypical antipsychotics. They can require patients fail first on the cheaper older antipsychotics and then go to the next cheaper medication.
There was wording in the budget that would have protected our loved ones, but Gov. Strickland line-item vetoed it.
If our loved ones are restricted from these medications, society in the long-term will pay a very heavy price. We will see increased hospitalizations, increased use of the justice system, increase in the loss of productive lives that many of our loved ones have been able to maintain on the newer antipsychotics, and, most importantly, we can truly expect to see loss of lives.
My daughter has remained out of the hospital for three years on one off the newer medications.
We have not had to involve our law enforcement officers to transport her safely to the hospital, thus freeing them up for other calls.
I find it appalling that others with a mental illness may not have the same opportunity that she had due to this new policy.
It has been a long road to get my daughter to where she is now. I can't imagine how much more difficult it would have been if we did not have access to the medications that have made a difference in her life. We as a society need to let our representatives know how we feel on this issue. Mental illness strikes one out of five families.
We need to stand up, speak out, and protect our loved ones, many of whom can't advocate for themselves.
For information, call NAMI
Erie-Ottawa at 419-898-2687 or 419-618-6329.
Board Member, NAMI Ohio and
Mental Health and Recovery Board Erie-Ottawa