Families USA Has a Strange Way of Showing Concern for Seniors

  • by: |
  • 11/02/2006
The Families USA report claims to demonstrate that fewer seniors will have to stand alone drug plans that offer meaningful coverage through the doughnut hole. In fact, the report either deliberately ignores or fails to acknowledge a fundamental shift in the design of stand-alone plans for 2007. Namely, lower out of pocket spending for a larger number of medicines for seniors. And the number of plans who offer such an approach has actually doubled from last year.

Most plans actually fill the doughnut hole and eliminate the coverage gap before it even starts by encouraging seniors to use generic medicines instead of brand drugs when available. In turn, most plans have added more drugs to their formularies and kept co-pays for newer medicines low. As a result, more seniors – most of whom never had drug coverage before – will have a wider choice of drugs and lower out of pocket expenses.

Ironically, for all its concern about providing seniors with meaningful doughnut hole coverage the FUSA proposal to use the VA system of price controls and drug formularies would create another kind of drug donught hole. It would create a gap in essential medicines. Only 38% of the drugs approved in the 1990s, and 19% of the drugs approved by the FDA since 2000, are on the VA National Formulary. Only 22% (17) of the 77 priority-review drugs approved since 1997 are on the 2005 National Formulary. By comparison, 100 percent of both types of FDA approved medicines are on the AARP Medicare formulary.

Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

Blog Roll

Alliance for Patient Access Alternative Health Practice
Better Health
Biotech Blog
CA Medicine man
Cafe Pharma
Campaign for Modern Medicines
Carlat Psychiatry Blog
Clinical Psychology and Psychiatry: A Closer Look
Conservative's Forum
Club For Growth
Diabetes Mine
Disruptive Women
Doctors For Patient Care
Dr. Gov
Drug Channels
DTC Perspectives
Envisioning 2.0
FDA Law Blog
Fierce Pharma
Fresh Air Fund
Furious Seasons
Gel Health News
Hands Off My Health
Health Business Blog
Health Care BS
Health Care for All
Healthy Skepticism
Hooked: Ethics, Medicine, and Pharma
Hugh Hewitt
In the Pipeline
In Vivo
Internet Drug News
Jaz'd Healthcare
Jaz'd Pharmaceutical Industry
Jim Edwards' NRx
Kaus Files
Laffer Health Care Report
Little Green Footballs
Med Buzz
Media Research Center
More than Medicine
National Review
Neuroethics & Law
Nurses For Reform
Nurses For Reform Blog
Opinion Journal
Orange Book
Peter Rost
Pharm Aid
Pharma Blog Review
Pharma Blogsphere
Pharma Marketing Blog
Pharmacology Corner
Pharmaceutical Business Review
Piper Report
Prescription for a Cure
Public Plan Facts
Real Clear Politics
Shark Report
Shearlings Got Plowed
Taking Back America
Terra Sigillata
The Cycle
The Catalyst
The Lonely Conservative
Town Hall
Washington Monthly
World of DTC Marketing
WSJ Health Blog