Washington, DC (February 21, 2017) – Today, the National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) and over 307 national and state health organizations urged legislators to protect patient access to medications by opposing proposals to allow the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) to interfere in the Medicare Part D program. Specifically, the letter advocates for preserving the non-interference provision within Part D and protecting private negotiations between insurers and manufacturers to keep costs low.
Under the current program structure, drug manufacturers and insurers negotiate directly, resulting in affordable prescription drug coverage for Part D beneficiaries. Insurers then pass along the savings generated from those private negotiations to beneficiaries through lower copays or premiums. These savings are partially responsible for widespread satisfaction among those who use Part D. According to the Medicare Today Senior Satisfaction Survey, nearly 9 in 10 seniors enrolled in Part D say they are satisfied with their coverage.
“Preserving comprehensive and affordable coverage within Part D can only be achieved by safeguarding against government interference in the program,” said Amy Porter, executive director and CEO of the National Osteoporosis Foundation. “On behalf of the patients that depend on medications to stay healthy, we call on Congress to protect Part D from changes that will harm beneficiaries who rely on the program.”
In addition, the letter explains that despite claims that the government could achieve lower prices in Part D, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) has repeatedly said that government interference will have a negligible impact on federal spending unless the government also limits access to certain prescription medications. This means beneficiaries would have fewer options among medications, and their access to treatments would be restricted.
“It is critical that seniors and individuals with disabilities have access to the medications that will best treat their individual conditions,” concluded Porter. “Since its inception, the Part D program has led to unprecedented access, and it would be unconscionable to make changes to the program that will reverse this trend and harm patients.”
The full text of the letter and list of signers can be viewed here.
About the National Osteoporosis Foundation
The National Osteoporosis Foundation (NOF) is the leading health organization dedicated to preventing osteoporosis and broken bones, promoting strong bones for life and reducing human suffering through programs of public and clinician awareness, education, advocacy and research.
Established in 1984, NOF is the nation’s only health organization solely dedicated to osteoporosis and bone health.