April 22, 2008
Statement from Consumers Union on Study in JAMA
The following comments are from Gail Shearer, Director of Health Policy Analysis at Consumers Union, the non-profit publisher of Consumer Reports magazine. They concern a new study on Medicare Part D being published in the April 23/30, 2008 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association:**
“This study reveals that the federal government has more work to do to assure that the Medicare Part D program meets the needs of the most vulnerable Medicare beneficiaries,” Ms. Shearer said. “It is unacceptable that the sickest beneficiaries may not be filling prescriptions or taking the full doses or courses of their medicines because they simply can’t afford to.”
“Congress should take action to reduce the financial barriers the disabled and most seriously ill Medicare beneficiaries face in getting access to the medicines they need,” Ms. Shearer added. “Congress also needs to provide Medicare beneficiaries with more tools to enable them to work with their medical providers to switch to lower cost, equally effective drugs.”
Consumer Reports Best Buy Drugs(TM) (www.CRBestBuyDrugs.org) is one free resource that can help Medicare beneficiaries identify effective, safe, and affordable medicines that can shave hundreds or even thousands of dollars off their drug bills.
** J.M. Madden et al, “Cost-Related Medication Nonadherence and Spending on Basic Health Needs Following Implementation of Medicare Part D.”