National Alliance on Mental Illness
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Access to Medications Toolkit

NAMI is committed to the health and well-being of persons living with mental illness.  As part of that commitment, NAMI advocates to ensure appropriate access to treatment and supports that promote recovery.  NAMI’s Access to Medications Toolkit is designed to help NAMI state organizations and affiliates advocate on medication access issues in their communities.  For further assistance, please contact Angela Kimball at

Summary of the NASMHPD Medical Directors Council Statement on Antipsychotic Prescribing  
The Medical Directors Council’s statement on antipsychotic prescribing may influence discussions and actions on medication access in states.  In this summary, NAMI offers a synopsis of the Medical Directors’ recommendations and their implications.

Talking Points on Antipsychotic Prescribing
This set of talking points provides responses to issues raised in the NASMHPD Medical Directors Council Statement on Antipsychotic Prescribing.  These talking points can be used to preserve open access policies, reject highly restrictive policies, and to push for greater access and patient protections.

Principles of Antipsychotic Prescribing for Policy Makers, Circa 2008. Translating Knowledge to Promote Individualized Treatment (NASMHPD Medical Directors’ Statement)

Access to Psychiatric Medications: 2008 Overview
This brief overview outlines key issues affecting state policies on psychiatric medications and provides tips for advocacy.

Joint Statement on Appropriate Utilization Management Approaches
This fact sheet discusses inappropriate utilization management techniques for vulnerbale populations taking psychiatric medications, as well as examples of utilization management approaches that promote high-value care.  

Joint Statement on Medication Cost Sharing in State Medicaid Programs
This fact sheet provides information on the impact of cost sharing in state Medicaid programs.

Joint Statement on Therapeutic Substitution
This fact sheet explains therapeutic substitution and how it can affect the health and safety of consumers taking psychiatric medications. 

The Need to Preserve Access: Depakote and Mood Stabilizer Medications
With pressures to contain costs, state Medicaid agencies and other payers may attempt to encourage or require individuals who are on Depakote® or Depakote® ER to switch to a generic form. For some individuals, generics may offer an acceptable and less costly alternative. For others, a generic may result in different or increased side effects or different effectiveness.  Learn more about these issues from this NAMI fact sheet.

The Need to Preserve Access: Risperdal and Atypical Antipsychotic Medications
® (risperidone) will become available in generic form in late June/early July of 2008.  This fact sheet provides policy statements and talking points on Risperdal and other atypical antipsychotic medications.  

The Role of Psychiatric Medications
This fact sheet emphasizes the need for access to a full array of psychiatric medications. 

Restricting Access to Psychiatric Medications: The Impact on Health and Hope
This fact sheet highlights research on the impact of restricting access to psychiatric medications.   

Access to Antidepressants: Saving Lives, Bringing Hope
This fact sheet cites research and outlines the importance of access to a full array of antidepressant medications. 

Restricting Access to Antidepressants: The Impact on Health and Hope
This fact sheet presents research on the adverse impact of restricting access to antidepressant medications. 

Updated March 2009