COPD Foundation Correspondence

May 20, 2014

Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

1570 Grant Street
Denver, CO 80203-1818

RE: Medicaid Preferred Drug List Does Not Include Symbicort


Susan E. Birch, Executive Director
Colorado Department of Health Care Policy and Financing

Judy Zerzan, Medical Director
Clinical Services Office

Katherine A. Blair, JD MPS
Health Policy Advisor

The COPD Foundation has been informed that Colorado Medicaid will be removing AstraZeneca Symbicort from the Preferred Drug List effective July 1, 2014. We believe that it would be a very poor decision to remove Symbicort from the list because of the need for individuals with COPD to be maintained on the therapy that has provided stable management of their condition. We are writing on behalf of COPD patients to let you know that this decision that will affect thousands of lives in your care and we urge you to reconsider this decision immediately.

The COPD Foundation is a not-for-profit organization that supports research and treatment of individuals with chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD). COPD Foundation Medical and Scientific Advisory Council (MASAC) members include the top COPD clinicians and researchers in the world. In addition, the opinions expressed in this letter reflect the current U.S. and worldwide guidelines regarding the management of COPD.

On behalf of the COPD Foundation who advocates for early diagnosis and treatment as well as patient access and choice; the decision to provide Symbicort should be reversed so that patients do not have exacerbations that may lead to emergency room visits or hospitalizations.

I would be pleased to speak to your medical director directly if that would be of benefit to understanding this issue. Please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can help in the reconsideration of this case.

John W. Walsh
President, COPD Foundation

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