Differing views on discount drug pricing

Medicare drug discount cards are now available for purchase. The US government estimates, the cards could save seniors as much as 25 percent of their prescription drug costs. According to a Harvard study, the cards will save seniors, on average, 17.4 percent of their drug costs. According to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), "some seniors will be able to save on their medications when they use the cards. But many will not." 
 
An "analysis" of discounts to be offered by the forthcoming Medicare drug discount card program is misleading and riddled with errors, the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) said. PCMA is the national association representing pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs). The report was issued yesterday by the Minority Staff of the US House Committee on Government Reform.

"This report cherry-picks data and omits basic facts about the full range of options and discounts available to seniors through Medicare prescription drug discount cards," said PCMA President Mark Merritt.

Merritt added, "The one simple fact that those who oppose the Medicare bill and their spin doctors are hoping people will forget is that those who enroll in a new Medicare drug discount card are likely to see discounts averaging 17 to 35 percent."

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