August 1, 2011
GAO: Medicare Part D Plans Expanding Access to New Drugs
WASHINGTON, Aug. 1, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) President and CEO Mark Merritt released the following statement today on a new Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, "Medicare Part D Formularies: CMS Conducts Oversight of Mid-Year Changes; Most Mid-Year Changes Were Enhancements":
"While experts agree that pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) help Part D come in under budget each year, GAO's new report provides fresh evidence that the Medicare drug benefit also expands access to new medications."GAO finds that 90 percent of the mid-year changes plans make to formularies are enhancements like covering a new drug. In the few cases when a drug is no longer covered, it's usually because a generic version of that drug has become available.
"This is in stark contrast to Medicaid's expensive, fee-for-service approach to pharmacy, which contributes to spiraling deficits in states all across America.
"According to a recent report, states and the federal government could save $33 billion - without cutting benefits for patients or payments to doctors and hospitals - by bringing Medicaid pharmacy benefits into the 21st century."
SOURCE Pharmaceutical Care Management Association