PCMA Statement on New JAMA Study: Medicare Drug Benefit Reduces Other Medical Costs

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This study is a potential ‘game-changer’ and shows how better prescription drug benefits can generate significant savings in other health care settings.

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This study is a potential ‘game-changer’ and shows how better prescription drug benefits can generate significant savings in other health care settings.

Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt released the following statement today on a new study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association that found “implementation of Medicare Part D was followed by a significant reductions in nondrug medical spending, particularly on acute and post acute care, for elderly Medicare beneficiaries with limited prior drug coverage:”

“This study is a potential ‘game-changer’ and shows how better prescription drug benefits can generate significant savings in other health care settings. Many illnesses, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits occur because seniors with sub-par benefits didn’t have access to the medications they needed. The Part D example shows that more competition and greater use of PBM tools like home delivery of chronic refills can help address this issue.

“As Medicaid’s top-down, fee-for-service approach to pharmacy is bankrupting states across America, Part D is a success story which comes in under budget each year. Part D has expanded access to prescription drugs and reduced medical costs thanks to the use of modern pharmacy benefit management tools.

According to a recent report, the states and the federal government could save $33 billion – without cutting benefits for patients or payments to doctors and hospitals – by bringing pharmacy benefits into the 21st century.

“Policymakers should follow the lead of Governors Cuomo, Christie and others who are re-shaping Medicaid pharmacy to operate more like Part D and reject proposals that re-shape Part D in the image of the failed Medicaid program.”

PCMA represents the nation’s pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs), which improve affordability and quality of care through the use of electronic prescribing (e-prescribing), generic alternatives, mail-service pharmacies, and other innovative tools for 210-plus million Americans.

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