Washington, D.C. (August 19, 2010) – Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Wes Metheny issued the following statement today on the Medicare Part D program:
“Since its inception, Medicare Part D has provided seniors and disabled Americans with unprecedented access to medicines at affordable prices. This track record of success continues with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services’ estimate of a $30 average monthly Part D premium in 2011, which represents only a $1 increase from this year’s level.
“Importantly, the low average monthly premium estimate will help to keep the Part D benefit affordable for seniors. What’s more, as part of the recently enacted health care reform law, America’s biopharmaceutical research companies will be helping Part D enrollees by providing a 50 percent discount on brand-name medicines in the coverage gap. Starting in 2011, the coverage gap discount program will ensure greater access to needed medicines by reducing out-of-pocket costs on brand-name medicines for eligible Medicare beneficiaries.
“Part D also will continue to provide additional help to low-income seniors. CMS announced that in 2011, the average value of Part D for those in the low-income subsidy program is estimated to be about $4,000.
“In addition to seniors, taxpayers also are paying less than anticipated for Part D. The Medicare trustees, in their annual report released this month, reduced their estimate of future Part D spending compared to last year’s estimate. According to the report, Part D spending projections are slightly lower in part due to a reduction in the projected growth in prescription drug spending in the U.S. for the next 10 years.
“Similarly, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office has reduced its 10-year forecast for the total cost of the program by $520 billion.”
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 $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.
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