Content about Medicare Part D

April 10, 2014

Prescription drug trend grew 3.8% in 2013, driven by significant price inflation for traditional brand drugs, specialty drugs and generics, as well as an increase in utilization as members filled more prescriptions in the slowly improving economy, according to the findings of CVS Caremark’s annual "Insights" report released on Thursday.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — Prescription drug trend grew 3.8% in 2013, driven by significant price inflation for traditional brand drugs, specialty drugs and generics, as well as an increase in utilization as members filled more prescriptions in the slowly improving economy, according to the findings of CVS Caremark’s annual "Insights" report released on Thursday. This compares with 2012, which experienced nearly flat growth at 0.1%.

March 18, 2014

Last year, $29.3 billion was spent on prescription drugs in Canada, but the annual growth rate was the second-lowest in more than 20 years, according to a new report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information released earlier this month.

OTTAWA, Ontario — Last year, $29.3 billion was spent on prescription drugs in Canada, but the annual growth rate was the second-lowest in more than 20 years, according to a new report by the Canadian Institute for Health Information released earlier this month. 

March 11, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided not to move forward on several of the proposed provisions of the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug program, according to reports.

WASHINGTON — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has decided not to move forward on several of the proposed provisions of the Medicare Advantage and Part D prescription drug program, according to reports.

February 26, 2014

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America on Tuesday announced the appointment of Charles “Chuck” Clapton to the position of SVP federal advocacy, effective March 17, 2014.

WASHINGTON — The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America on Tuesday announced the appointment of Charles “Chuck” Clapton to the position of SVP federal advocacy, effective March 17, 2014.  

In this capacity, Clapton will be responsible for leading PhRMA’s federal government affairs initiatives and advancing its legislative agenda, working with stakeholders to develop and advocate for health policies that foster innovation and ensure patient access to new medicines in the United States and around the world.  

February 20, 2014

In most exchange plans, consumers will face paying a percentage of the costs — often called co-insurance — rather than fixed-dollar co-payments for many specialty medications used to treat rare and complex diseases.

WASHINGTON — In most exchange plans, consumers will face paying a percentage of the costs — often called co-insurance — rather than fixed-dollar co-payments for many specialty medications used to treat rare and complex diseases. According to a new Avalere Health analysis, some plans require enrollees to pay 50% of the specialty drug’s cost. If exchange plans use coinsurance for specialty medications, patients may incur several thousands of dollars of cost-sharing for high-cost drugs before reaching the out-of-pocket maximum.

February 18, 2014

The federal agency in charge of Medicare is pushing for a major overhaul of its Medicare Part D drug benefit program for seniors.

The federal agency in charge of Medicare is pushing for a major overhaul of its Medicare Part D drug benefit program for seniors. Those changes, if adopted, could help level the competitive playing field for pharmacy retailers in Part D plan networks, reduce competitive advantages for preferred pharmacy networks and mail-order pharmacies, and put a tighter squeeze on pharmacy benefit managers.

Thus, the proposals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for the 2015 federal fiscal year could spell big changes for retail pharmacies. Among the most far-reaching are:

February 12, 2014

A Medicare proposed rule change limiting the number of prescription drug plans that insurers may offer in the Part D market could require 39% of all enhanced plans to be eliminated in 2016, according to an analysis from Avalere Health that was released Wednesday.

WASHINGTON — A Medicare proposed rule change limiting the number of prescription drug plans that insurers may offer in the Part D market could require 39% of all enhanced plans to be eliminated in 2016, according to an analysis from Avalere Health that was released Wednesday. The change, which limits standalone PDP sponsors to one basic and one enhanced plan per region, was proposed by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in a January proposed regulation. 

February 12, 2014

Members of Congress are contacting the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in support of pro-patient improvements the agency proposed for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in 2015, a development applauded today by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Members of Congress are contacting the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services in support of pro-patient improvements the agency proposed for Medicare Part D prescription drug plans in 2015, a development applauded today by the National Community Pharmacists Association.

In response to problems with “preferred pharmacy” networks, CMS has proposed allowing any willing pharmacy to offer a plan’s lowest, or preferred, cost-sharing to give seniors more choice and to foster greater competition among pharmacies. 

January 17, 2014

The Medicare Part D program and taxpayers often pay more when prescription drugs are obtained through "preferred" pharmacies and mail order than they would if the same prescriptions were filled through other, "non-preferred" pharmacies, according to a cost comparison made by the National Community Pharmacists Association released Thursday using the Medicare Plan Finder website.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The Medicare Part D program and taxpayers often pay more when prescription drugs are obtained through "preferred" pharmacies and mail order than they would if the same prescriptions were filled through other, "non-preferred" pharmacies, according to a cost comparison made by the National Community Pharmacists Association released Thursday using the Medicare Plan Finder website. The findings come shortly after recently proposed requirements that officials with the U.S.

December 23, 2013

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is encouraging health plans to cover patients' existing non-formulary drugs as though they were formulary drugs for the first 30 days after the Jan. 1 rollout of the insurance coverage provided under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is encouraging health plans to cover patients' existing non-formulary drugs as though they were formulary drugs for the first 30 days after the Jan. 1 rollout of the insurance coverage provided under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

December 20, 2013

CVS Caremark announced on Friday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has lifted the sanctions imposed against the company's SilverScript Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, effective Jan. 1.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark announced on Friday that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has lifted the sanctions imposed against the company's SilverScript Medicare Part D Prescription Drug Plan, effective Jan. 1.

 "We are pleased by this news," stated Jon Roberts, president of the PBM business of CVS Caremark. "We have worked hard to implement improvements to address the enrollment processing issues that occurred in early 2013 and are committed to providing our members with quality service and support."

December 18, 2013

The U.S. healthcare system saved $217 billion in 2012 thanks to the use of generic drugs, according to a new report by a generic drug industry trade group.

WASHINGTON — The U.S. healthcare system saved $217 billion in 2012 thanks to the use of generic drugs, according to a new report by a generic drug industry trade group.

December 18, 2013

UnitedHealthcare on Wednesday announced the winners of the 2013 UnitedHealthcare Medication Adherence Targeted Intervention Program Challenge benefiting the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation.

MINNETONKA, Minn. — UnitedHealthcare on Wednesday announced the winners of the 2013 UnitedHealthcare Medication Adherence Targeted Intervention Program Challenge benefiting the National Association of Chain Drug Stores Foundation. The company presented a $100,000 donation to the foundation on behalf of the winning pharmacies at the 15th annual NACDS Foundation Dinner in New York earlier this month. 

December 17, 2013

Nearly 1,200 seniors have complained to Medicare this year about a litany of problems with mail-order pharmacies, including shipping unneeded medication and going without medication due to delayed shipments, the National Community Pharmacists Association noted Tuesday citing documentation recently released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — Nearly 1,200 seniors have complained to Medicare this year about a litany of problems with mail-order pharmacies, including shipping unneeded medication and going without medication due to delayed shipments, the National Community Pharmacists Association noted Tuesday citing documentation recently released by the U.S. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

December 12, 2013

The National Community Pharmacists Association urged U.S. Senators on the Senate Finance Committee to support a proposal intended to expand coverage in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program of medication therapy management programs.

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The National Community Pharmacists Association on Wednesday urged U.S. Senators on the Senate Finance Committee to support a proposal — scheduled for a vote as soon as Thursday — intended to expand coverage in the Medicare Part D prescription drug program of medication therapy management programs.

December 9, 2013

Pharmacy Quality Solutions on Monday announced that it will collaborate with Cardinal Health to help 600 community pharmacies track their performance on Medicare Part D Star measures.

SPRINGFIELD, Va. — Pharmacy Quality Solutions on Monday announced that it will collaborate with Cardinal Health to help 600 community pharmacies track their performance on Medicare Part D Star measures. 

December 3, 2013

Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

WASHINGTON — Elderly and disabled people nationwide have saved almost $9 billion on prescription drugs thanks to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, according to a new study by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

November 12, 2013

CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics.

WOONSOCKET, R.I. — CVS Caremark has announced the appointment of William Shrank as chief scientific officer and chief medical officer, provider innovation and analytics.

In this role, Shrank will focus on the development of innovative pharmacy solutions to help improve the quality of care while lowering costs in order to help health care providers deliver services to distinct patient populations.

October 16, 2013

Medicare beneficiaries' use of medications — both effective and risky — varies widely across different regions of the United States, according to a new report.

LEBANON, N.H. — Medicare beneficiaries' use of medications — both effective and risky — varies widely across different regions of the United States, according to a new report.

October 14, 2013

With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their healthcare coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins on Oct. 15, Walgreens noted Monday.

DEERFIELD, Ill. — With this year’s Medicare Annual Election Period overlapping with the unrelated open enrollment for the new federal and state insurance marketplaces, there’s a growing need to help Medicare beneficiaries understand their healthcare coverage options when Medicare open enrollment begins on Oct. 15, Walgreens noted Monday. 

October 7, 2013

Next year, the share of brand-name drugs paid by Medicare Part D beneficiaries will drop to 47.5%. The share of generics will drop to 72%, according to a report published Monday in the Wall Street Journal.

NEW YORK — Next year, the share of brand-name drugs paid by Medicare Part D beneficiaries will drop to 47.5%. The share of generics will drop to 72%, according to a report published Monday in The Wall Street Journal.

October 1, 2013

Rite Aid will help elderly people and their caregivers prepare for the annual Medicare Part D enrollment starting in two weeks, the drug store chain said Tuesday.

CAMP HILL, Pa. — Rite Aid will help elderly people and their caregivers prepare for the annual Medicare Part D enrollment starting in two weeks, the drug store chain said Tuesday.

Rite Aid said its stores around the country would offer Medicare Advisor to help Medicare beneficiaries and caregivers find the plan that suits them best starting on Oct. 15.

October 1, 2013

Health insurer WellPoint said Tuesday that most of its affiliated Medicare drug plans and medical plans with drug coverage will participate in a preferred pharmacy network that includes Rite Aid, Kroger and Walmart pharmacies.

INDIANAPOLIS — Health insurer WellPoint said Tuesday that most of its affiliated Medicare drug plans and medical plans with drug coverage will participate in a preferred pharmacy network that includes Rite Aid, Kroger and Walmart pharmacies.

Together, WellPoint said, members had access to more than 11,000 locations around the country. The preferred pharmacy network is part of all of WellPoint's affiliated Part D standalone prescription drug plans and most of its Medicare Advantage Prescription Drug Plans.

August 14, 2013

The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is urging lawmakers to examine “commonsense, pro-patient, pro-pharmacy reforms” in an effort to modernize the Medicare program for beneficiaries.

ARLINGTON, Va. — The National Association of Chain Drug Stores is urging lawmakers to examine “commonsense, pro-patient, pro-pharmacy reforms” in an effort to modernize the Medicare program for beneficiaries.

In a statement NACDS sent to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Ways and Means Subcommittee on Health, the Association is urging “commonsense” approaches to Medicare reform and emphasizing community pharmacy’s role in improving heath and controlling costs.

August 8, 2013

Results of a recent federal survey of Medicare Part D claims is again roiling the sometimes strained relationship between independent and smaller-chain community pharmacies and managed care, and could herald a growing threat to those pharmacies as health plan payers and pharmacy benefit managers abandon open pharmacy provider networks and shift more business to exclusive preferred pharmacy groups.

Results of a recent federal survey of Medicare Part D claims is again roiling the sometimes strained relationship between independent and smaller-chain community pharmacies and managed care, and could herald a growing threat to those pharmacies as health plan payers and pharmacy benefit managers abandon open pharmacy provider networks and shift more business to exclusive preferred pharmacy groups.