Press Release

Statement on Proposed Rule on Medicare Advantage & Part D

PhRMA February 19, 2014

Washington, D.C. (February 19, 2014) — Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) Senior Vice President Matthew Bennett issued the following statement:

“PhRMA opposes the proposed rule on Medicare Advantage and Part D that CMS released in early January because it could disrupt care for millions of beneficiaries. The Part D program is already working well, making the proposed rule unnecessary and harmful. Quite simply, it is a solution in search of a problem.

“Since 2006, the Part D program has developed a strong track record of success.   Currently, total Part D costs are 45 percent – or $348 billion – lower than initial projections for 2004-2013. Additionally, average beneficiary premiums are stable at $31 per month in 2014 —less than half the level originally projected. And several surveys have found that 90% or more of Part D beneficiaries are satisfied with their coverage.

“Despite Part D’s success, the proposed rule represents a fundamental shift in CMS’ administration of Part D and would erode key features at the core of the program’s competitive structure – to the detriment of beneficiaries. The proposed changes would restrict patient access to needed medications, limit beneficiary choice of affordable plan options, and unlawfully interfere in a competitive, market-based program that is already working. Not only are these changes unnecessary; they could increase costs for both beneficiaries and taxpayers.

“In light of Part D’s track record, PhRMA urges CMS to withdraw the proposed rule which, as written, would undermine Part D and harm beneficiaries who rely on the program for affordable access to comprehensive prescription drug coverage.”

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested approximately $550 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $48.5 billion in 2012 alone.

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