NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


September 19, 2007

The pharmaceutical industry has long been a fan of the Medicare drug benefit.  Now the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA), the industry's main trade group, is out with a report that finds Medicare Part D is working really well, says the Wall Street Journal.

According to the report:

  • Patients with no drug coverage in 2005 significantly reduced their out-of-pocket costs by signing up.
  • Total monthly costs for these people, even with increased use of medicines, fell by 45 percent after they were covered.

The report has less information on so-called dual-eligible people -- those who qualify for both Medicare and Medicaid, and received Medicaid drug coverage before Part D took effect.  But that group appears to have benefited as well, with slightly lower out-of-pocket spending and slightly more prescriptions.

Source: Jacob Goldstein, "Drug Study: Medicare Benefit Works, Industry Says," Wall Street Journal, September 18, 2007; based upon: "Medicare Part D: Assessing the Impact for Beneficiaries without Previous Drug Coverage and Dual Eligible's," Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, September 2007.

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