Washington, D.C. (October 6, 2011) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Matt Bennett issued the following statement on new research by Harvard showing reduced hospital visits as a result of Medicare Part D:
“A new study by researchers at Harvard Medical School, appearing today on the Web site of the American Journal of Managed Care, calculates the decline in the number of avoidable hospitalizations in each state and shows that nearly 11 million seniors gained comprehensive prescription drug coverage as a result of Medicare Part D.
“The authors note that their findings, coupled with other recent research showing savings in hospital and nursing home costs of about $1,200 per newly insured beneficiary, imply overall savings to Medicare of $13.4 billion in 2007, the first full year of Part D. This represents more than one quarter of Part D’s total cost during that time.
“The study shows that following the implementation of Part D, the number of avoidable hospitalizations declined by at least 1,000 in more than half of the states, with seven states experiencing declines of 2,500 or more.
“This latest round of research further bolsters the overwhelming body of evidence chronicling Part D’s success. Since its inception, the program has provided seniors with effective, affordable access to medicines. Recently, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that average monthly Part D premiums for 2012 will decrease slightly to $30 – 46 percent lower than original premium projections.
“Not only is the program affordable for beneficiaries, but Part D spending is 41 percent lower than initial 10-year projections, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
“As Congress and the Administration seek deficit reduction solutions, it is critical to focus on the long-term benefits of programs like Part D and not embrace shortsighted proposals that will fundamentally alter the program. We must better understand the value of medicine in both improving health outcomes and saving money for programs like Medicare, as this study demonstrates. Preserving Part D in its current form is critical to our current and future health.”
The study, supported in part by PhRMA, can be found at: