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With Medicare Plan, Drug Spending May Be Up
Date:7/1/2009

other parts of the system. Where the study didn't go was whether or not those who were using medications hit the 'doughnut hole' [and] went back to their old ways."

The so-called doughnut hole is a gap in coverage that occurs when Medicare beneficiaries reach a limit in their spending.

"This shows that having drug benefits is the right thing to do for patients, but we shouldn't have a doughnut hole in our benefits," Baker added. "We can make it better and get more savings and, of course, keep people's health better maintained."

More information

The U.S. government has more on the Part D prescription benefit program.



SOURCES: Yuting Zhang, Ph.D., assistant professor, health economics, department of health policy and management, University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, Pittsburgh; Joseph Baker, president, Medicare Rights Center, New York City; University of Maryland at Baltimore, news release; July 2, 2009, New England Journal of Medicine


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