The Arizona Neurological Society does not lobby or directly advocate for changes in legislation. We do, however, share an interest as an organization if promoting excellence in the practice of neurology and in the maintenance of quality patient care for our patients.

Areas of recent discussion include the following areas:

  • Automated Nerve Conduction Studies
  • Malpractice reform or tort reform
  • Pay for Performance initiatives by CMS and United Healthcare
  • Antiepileptic Medication Substitution Policy Position

The Arizona Neurological Society has indefinitely postponed publication of a formal policy position statement on Automated Nerve Conduction Studies.   It is the position of the Society that individual members with expertise are the best advocates for voicing opinions on this and related topics.  Opinions regarding insurance coverage policies will be handled in a similar manner. For those seeking an expert opinion on certain topics, please contact info@azneurosociety.com and we will direct you to an appropriate expert on the topic.

 

Position Statement on the coverage of anticonvulsant medications for the treatment of epilepsy

February 2007

 

 

The Arizona Neurological Society, representing the practicing neurologists in the state of Arizona, has a strong interest in appropriate care of people with epilepsy.  Based on published evidence-based data and consensus among our membership, we have the following position statement regarding the coverage of anticonvulsant medications for adults and children with epilepsy.

 

The ANS opposes generic substitution of anticonvulsant medication for the treatment of epilepsy without the approval of the prescribing physician. This view is based on variations between name-brand and generic drugs that, though within the allowances of the FDA, can be important in controlling seizures in some patients.  For some epilepsy patients, even small variations in the absorption or effectiveness of a given dosage can have serious medical consequences.

 

We oppose all state and federal legislation that would permit arbitrary switching or generic substitution of anticonvulsants at pharmacies without consent and notification of the physician and patient.  The ANS also opposes requiring prior authorization by public or private entities for anticonvulsant medications used in the treatment of epilepsy.

 

The Arizona Neurological Society is pleased to serve as a resource to physicians, public policy makers and the public regarding this issue.

 

 

 

References:

French JA, Kanner AM, Bautista J, et al.  Efficacy and tolerability of the new antiepileptic drugs I: Treatment of new onset epilepsy; Efficacy and tolerability of the new antiepileptic drugs II: Treatment of refractory epilepsy; Reports of the Therapeutics and Technology Assessment Subcommittee and Quality Standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of Neurology and the American Epilepsy Society, Neurology 2004;62L1252-1250.

Crawford P, Feely M, Guberman A, Kramer G. Are there potential problems with generic substitution of antiepileptic drugs? A review of issues. Seizure 2006;15:165-76.

Besag FM. Is generic prescribing acceptable in epilepsy?. Drug Safety 2000;23:173-82.

 

 

 

 

 

©2005 Arizona Neurological Society - All rights reserved.
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