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PhRMA Launches Campaign to Raise Awareness of Success of Medicare Prescription Drug Benefit

WASHINGTON, June 10 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- With the debate over comprehensive healthcare reform now in full swing, the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America is launching a new national broadcast advertising campaign touting the importance and success of free-market initiatives such as the Medicare prescription drug benefit (Part D).

Medicare Part D continues to provide unprecedented coverage and choice for seniors and disabled Americans, according to national surveys. And most importantly, seniors are saving money on their medicines through the program, particularly those who need it the most. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the average value of the Part D benefit, premium subsidy, and cost-sharing subsidy in 2009 will be $1,200 for the average beneficiary, and about $3,900 for low-income.

In fact, in 2009, approximately 97 percent of beneficiaries in a stand-alone plan have access to a monthly premium less or equal to the premium they paid in 2008, according to CMS. And every state offers a Medicare prescription drug plan with a premium of $23 or less.

A recent Medicare Today survey, cited in the commercial, shows overall satisfaction has grown from 78 percent at the start of the program in 2006, to 84 percent in 2009. In addition, the new commercial also pushes for comprehensive healthcare reform.

"There is a success story out there in healthcare, and we want people to know about it. Since its inception, the Medicare drug benefit has given beneficiaries unprecedented access to needed medications, at an affordable cost," said PhRMA Senior Vice President Ken Johnson.

Not only are Medicare beneficiaries saving significant money, so too are American taxpayers. In March 2009, the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released new baseline spending projections that reduced its 10-year forecast for the total cost of the Medicare drug program by $520 billion, or 43 percent, compared with its 2006 estimate for the same 10-year period (FY 2007-2016).

"PhRMA echoes the sentiment shared by President Obama and members of Congress that it is critical that all Americans have access to high-quality and affordable healthcare coverage and will do everything we can to help ensure that a comprehensive healthcare reform bill gets to the White House this year," said PhRMA President and CEO Billy Tauzin.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country's leading pharmaceutical research and biotechnology companies, which are devoted to inventing medicines that allow patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. PhRMA companies are leading the way in the search for new cures. PhRMA members alone invested an estimated $50.3 billion in 2008 in discovering and developing new medicines. Industry-wide research and investment reached a record $65.2 billion in 2008.

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For information on the Partnership for Prescription Assistance, visit:

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SOURCE Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America
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