To: Angela Braly, CEO, Anthem Blue Cross, President Donald Trump, The California State House, The California State Senate, and Governor Gavin Newsom

California Anthem Blue Cross Medi-Cal: Stop Taking Vital Medications from Disabled Patients with ...

"Cut money from the budget somewhere, anywhere, OTHER than the medication for the poorest of the poor! Re-establish the Drug Coverage Formulary that covers Cymbalta and Migranal and any other important psych drugs you've recently removed. Stop the systematic discrimination against psychiatric patients, many of whom are capable of living fairly normal lives if their medications were not in constant flux due to the machinations of political maneuverings! Hold Anthem Blue Cross accountable for their negligence, for the way in which patients have been treated: being cut-off psychotropic medications, like Cymbalta, which require a step-down treatment, with no forewarning either to the patients themselves, or their physicians. We need IMMEDIATE and URGENT ACTION!!

Why is this important?

Evidently due to budget cuts, in the last few weeks, many disabled patients on Medi-Cal through Anthem Blue Cross have gone in to their pharmacies to refill their prescriptions for Cymbalta and other medications, only to be told, as I was, "I'm sorry, that is no longer covered under your insurance program."
"Oh," I said, "so, we have to do a T.A.R. for that now?"
"No," she replied, "they don't do those anymore. They just don't cover it." Then she shrugged, and looked at me like she'd just informed me they'd quit carrying Dentyne.

This is what happened to me. I am 52, on Disability (which is monetarily only around $700 a month, but is supposed to pay all my medical expenses, and fails to do so) for Severe Chronic Migraines and Bipolar Depression. I have other serious medical conditions as well, but the two most important medications in fighting the issues for which I was actually put on disability *for*, Migranal (migraines) and Cymbalta (depression) both of which are unique formulations, are no longer covered under Anthem's new drug formulary. The problem is that Cymbalta is a drug you cannot simply stop cold. It MUST be stepped down from slowly, and ALL physicians know this. However, NO ONE from the State or from Anthem thought to give ANY physicians, psychiatrists, or PATIENTS advanced warning that they would be cutting them off of their LIFELINE medication. So most, if not all, will find out, at the time they *run out* of their current prescription that it is no longer covered, and will be caught *without* a safety net of another drug that works for them that they would have already been able to transition into SAFELY - had they at least been given the courtesy of a forewarning. Or, they will, like me, just be out of luck entirely, because nothing else works and/or there are contraindications to all the other drugs for their condition. Because of the thoughtless disregard of the State of California, and the NEGLIGENCE of ANTHEM BLUE CROSS, we can expect to see a *rash of suicides*, as people who are least able to cope with the emotional and physical blow of such disregard, as well as the uninformed and forced withdrawal from the only medication that works for them, are left with no option but to leave their pharmacy empty-handed, in shock.

The truth is, this looks suspiciously like the state is in collusion with Anthem in attempting to reduce it's rolls of "undesirables" by nudging along quite a few suicides. I am attempting NOT to be among them.