Last week, we wrote about a new study in the American Journal of Managed Care that determined the addition of a prescription drug program to Medicare expanded access and increased the chances Medicare patients took the medicines prescribed by their doctors. This, in turn, contributed to a savings of $2.3 billion for the Medicare system. This study focused on Medicare beneficiaries who had congestive heart failure, but the same story holds true when you look at an even broader sample.
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After 38 long years of negotiations between dozens of legislators, through several presidencies, and despite many failed attempts, Congress passed the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2003. Medicare Part D now offers coverage to more than 31 million American seniors, who report a 90% satisfaction rate with the program, which has also increased medication adherence among older Americans.