Jakafi is an oral medication prescribed to manage specific bone marrow conditions, such as polycythemia vera. The drug’s mission is to stop the body from generating substances known as growth factors. Unrestrained, these protein molecules stimulate cells to grow and divide, and are also responsible for the blood cell and spleen issues that frequently arise with bone marrow disorders.

Though the drug is not a cure, it can alleviate certain symptoms, such as abdominal discomfort, pain that targets the area under the left ribs, premature satiety, night sweats, itchiness, and bone or muscle pain. Jakafi is the first and only medicine approved by the Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of these patients.

Medicare Coverage for Jakafi
Medicare Part D plan participants need to check their plan’s formulary, or list of covered drugs,  to check for coverage of Jakafi. You can also search for Jakafi under its generic name, ruxolitinib. Drug coverage and costs can vary between plans. If you have Original Medicare, you can enroll in a stand-alone Prescription Drug Plan (PDP). Alternatively, you can get your Medicare benefits from a Medicare Advantage (MA) plan.

MA plans will include at least the same Part A and Part B benefits as Original Medicare, but many Medicare Advantage plans include additional benefits, such as prescription drug coverage. The best time to enroll in Part D prescription drug coverage is during your initial period of eligibility to avoid a late enrollment penalty.

Common Side Effects of Jakafi
If Jakafi or any drug is prescribed for you, be sure your medical team is cognizant of other prescription drugs you are taking as well as products of choice, such as vitamins, herbs and supplements. Once you begin taking Jakafi, pay attention to any side effects, and report them to your doctor if they are troublesome and persistent. These may include bruising, dizziness and headaches. Keep your doctor informed so you can get the help you need to resolve any issue.

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