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Poll: Over One Million Seniors Have Problems with Medicare 'Preferred Pharmacy' Drug Plans
Date:5/20/2013

iption drugs. Independent community pharmacists in these areas report that patients are repeatedly dealing with this barrier to obtaining their medications. Perhaps reflecting this problem, more than one million seniors are either very dissatisfied or somewhat dissatisfied with their preferred pharmacy Medicare drug plan[1].

"Second, Medicare and taxpayers may not realize any overall savings from these prescription drug plans (or PDPs). As Medicare said in its proposed 2014 call letter, 'We have begun to scrutinize Part D drug costs in PDPs with preferred networks, and comparing these to costs in the non-preferred networks, as well as to costs in PDPs without preferred networks. We are concerned because our initial results suggest that aggregate unit costs weighted by utilization (for the top 25 brand and top 25 generic drugs) may be higher in preferred networks than in non-preferred networks in some plans [emphasis added]. Combined with lower cost sharing, we believe these higher unit costs may violate the requirement not to increase payments to such plans.'

"An analysis by NCPA staff backs up Medicare's concerns. NCPA staff looked at four common drugs (generic version of Lipitor—atorvastatin calcium Tab 20mg 90 day supply; generic version of Plavix—clopidogrel Tab 75mg 90 day supply; Diovan—Tab 80mg 90 day supply; and Nexium—Cap 40mg 90 day supply) on Medicare's Plan Finder website. Looking at two large preferred pharmacy plans (AARP MedicareRx Preferred and Humana Walmart Preferred Rx), the cost of the drugs was compared between preferred pharmac
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SOURCE National Community Pharmacists Association
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