Nation's Leading Patient Advocacy Organization Urges Congress to Preserve Integrity of Medicare Part D Program

 

National Patient Advocate Foundation Joins 200 Patient, Labor and Business Organizations in Opposing Medicaid-Style Rebates that Would Decrease Access, and Increase Cost of Life-Saving Prescription Drugs for Seniors and Disabled Americans

WASHINGTON, Nov. 2, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Today the National Patient Advocate Foundation (NPAF) joined more than 200 patient advocacy groups, physicians' organizations, and business and labor leaders from across the country in urging Congress to reject proposals to impose a Medicaid-style rebate system onto the Medicare Part D prescription drug program.

In a letter sent to Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction chairs Rep. Jeb Hensarling and Sen. Patty Murray, the organizations cited the success of the Part D program in giving seniors access to affordable prescription drugs, while costing taxpayers 41 percent less than originally projected. In addition, the structure of the Part D program has allowed premiums to remain stable, with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimating the average premium will actually decrease slightly in 2012.
           
Imposing rebates onto biopharmaceutical manufacturers would take an estimated $112 billion out of Part D and force premiums to rise by 20 to 40 percent according to one study. The groups also believe the rebate proposals could seriously reduce drug choices for patients and prescribing options for healthcare providers.
           
"Providing affordable medicines for seniors and the disabled is not a Republican or Democrat issue, it's a patient health issue," said Nancy Davenport-Ennis, founder and CEO of NPAF. "Altering Part D -- a solvent, competitive program that assures patients broad access to drugs that are priced competitively -- in the name of political expediency could cause serious harm to those Medicare is supposed to serve. NPAF is proud to stand with so many other patient rights groups in opposing any plan that could have such damaging consequences to our most vulnerable citizens."
           
Since its implementation, the Medicare prescription drug benefit has been overwhelmingly popular, with studies consistently showing the vast majority of beneficiaries are satisfied with their plans, making Part D a model for how a government-run program should function.
           
In their letter to the Committee, the groups maintain that, "far from being a source of inefficiency and waste, Part D sets the standard for delivering better value at lower cost. We strongly believe that the Committee should reject any proposals that put these savings at risk. Clearly such a move would adversely impact the health and well-being of millions of seniors, veterans and persons with disabilities."

To view the joint letter to the chairs of the Joint Select Committee in Congress, click here: http://f.cl.ly/items/3y3U1Y3x321B0F2m3X3f/Letter.pdf

NPAF and its companion organization, the Patient Advocate Foundation (PAF), were established in 1996 on the principle that health care is a basic human need and shared social responsibility.  NPAF is dedicated to working with Congress and all levels of government to overcome challenges and create solutions that will allow for high-quality, affordable health care for all. In 2010, PAF case managers assisted 82,963 patients, each with chronic, life-threatening or debilitating conditions struggling to access health care.  Additionally, PAF responds to millions of online requests for information or chat line support.  For more information see www.npaf.org.

 

SOURCE National Patient Advocate Foundation



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