Washington, D.C. (August 7, 2012) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Matthew Bennett issued the following statement today on the continued success of Medicare Part D:
“Since its inception, Medicare Part D has provided good access to medicines at an affordable cost. This exemplary track record of success continues with today’s announcement by the Department of Health and Human Services that 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.
“These continued low premiums add to the overwhelming body of evidence demonstrating how the competitive market structure of Part D is yielding great value for beneficiaries and Medicare overall. 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 range of coverage options that promote affordability and access to medicines, 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 Medicare about $1,200 per beneficiary 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 to Medicare 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.
“What’s more, enrollees continue to be 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.
“Once again, the evidence is clear: Part D is a rare government program that provides unprecedented access to medicines at affordable prices while costing less than projected and exceeding expectations.”
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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