American Academy of Neurology Lobbies for freer off label use regulations.

By Malcolm P. Berger, M.D.

Sunday, July 18, 2004


This is an excerpt from a letter sent by Sandra F. Olsen, M.D., President of the American Academy of Neurology to Mark McClellan, M.D., Ph. D., senior administrator for Medicare and Medicaid.


Coverage for Off-label Indications: Much of the medication prescribed for neurological patients includes the off-label use of approved medication. For example, over 90% of gabapentin prescriptions are for off-label uses such as pain. There is a large body of scientific evidence supporting the use of anticonvulsant and antidepressant drugs for patients suffering from neuropathic pain. Guidelines for PDPs must not restrict the ability of physicians to prescribe drugs for off-label indications or uses. Failure to provide this option would impede upon the practice of medicine and would also severely burden our patients with chronic pain and other conditions.

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