Washington, D.C. (September 25, 2012) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Matthew Bennett issued the following statement today on findings from Avalere Health on Medicare Part D premiums:
“Since its inception, Medicare Part D has provided good access to medicines at an affordable cost. Part of this exemplary track record comes from Part D’s flexibility in giving seniors options in choosing the plans that are right for them. According to the agency that runs Medicare, beneficiaries’ average monthly Part D premiums for 2013 will remain steady for the third consecutive year at $30 – 50 percent less than original premium projections. Avalere Health’s report showed that while premiums for some plans increased, there was also an increase in the number of available plans with premiums below $20. Since premiums can fluctuate from year to year, Avalere Health’s analysis reinforces the importance of seniors weighing their options and choosing the plans that best meet their medical and financial needs. Open enrollment season begins October 15.
“Over 40 million people with Medicare – 90 percent of all beneficiaries – now have comprehensive prescription drug coverage and over 29 million beneficiaries are enrolled in a Part D plan. With a wide range of coverage options and a competitive market structure that yields great value for beneficiaries and Medicare overall, Part D is leading to healthier patients and lower overall health costs.
“For example, a study in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) showed that improved access and adherence to medicines driven by Part D saves about $1,200 per Medicarebeneficiary in hospital, skilled nursing facility and other costs for each senior who previously lacked comprehensive prescription drug coverage. A study by researchers at Harvard Medical School found that nearly 11 million seniors gained comprehensive prescription drug coverage as a result of Part D. Together, these findings show overall savings equaled over $13 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.
“In addition, Part D is costing much less than originally predicted. Recently, the Congressional Budget Office estimated that program spending was 43 percent lower than their initial 10-year estimate.
“Seniors are also overwhelmingly satisfied with their prescription drug coverage in the program. According to the latest Medicare Today survey, 88 percent of seniors say they are satisfied with their coverage under Part D. And for the other 12 percent, open enrollment allows seniors to shop around for a plan that better serves them. Beneficiaries can explore options by using online tools, such as the Medicare Plan Finder.”
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $49.5 billion in 2011 in discovering and developing new medicines.
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For information on how innovative medicines save lives, visit: http://www.innovation.org
For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit: http://www.pparx.org
For information on ensuring the flow of medicines during public health emergencies, visit http://www.rxresponse.org