New Initiative: NY Medicare Rx Access Network

New York Health Works is launching the Medicare Rx Access Network of New York, a coalition of health care related groups including patient advocacy organizations, professional associations, social service organizations, and senior related organizations that are committed to educating New Yorkers about Medicare Part D and fighting to protect this critical program.

The mission is to educate New Yorkers about Medicare Part D, advocate for the protection of Part D, help with enrollment, and disseminate important information and resources about the program.

Medicare Part D is a vital program to the more than 3 million New Yorkers who participate. Part D provides disabled Americans and seniors access to affordable, life-saving medicines. The most recent Medicare Today survey found that 88% of seniors are satisfied with their coverage.

Recently, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics released a report, Cost Savings in Medicare Part D: The Prescription Drug Lifecycle, which examines the role the prescription drug life cycle plays in public policy. This report updates a report from 2011 that looked at savings in the Part D program.

In the new report, IMS examined the medicines covered under Medicare Part D from 2006 to 2010. It found that a group of brand-named (patented) medicines representing 28% of the all Part D 2006 spending lost patent protection during this period. At the same time, generic versions of those medicines became available to patients. This generic competition with brand name drugs helped save Medicare $8.1 billion. IMS also reports that generic competition will result in additional savings to Medicare over the next several years as another large group of medicines will lose patent protection.

Medicare Part D works, and more importantly it provides disabled Americans and seniors with affordable access to medicines they depend on. Changes to Part D could result in higher premiums, fewer choices, and reduced access to medications.

Join New York Health Works now to become involved in the crucially important NY Medicare Rx Access Network.

-Jaime Venditti, 8/31/12