Increased use of generic drugs helps to save Medicare Part D billions

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The Medicare Part D prescription drug program saved more than $33 billion in 2007 due to the use of generic drugs, according to a new government report. 

The Congressional Budget Office report also shows that another $14 billion per year in savings to the seniors' drug program can be expected as new generic drugs become available through 2012, The Associated Press reported. Trade lobbying group Pharmaceutical Care Management Association, which represents the interests of pharmacy benefits managers, was quick to trumpet the report's findings.

“Policymakers can increase savings for seniors and Medicare by leveraging additional generic opportunities and rejecting special protections in Part D that insulate drugmakers from competition by requiring drug plans cover ‘all or substantially all' drugs in at least six different drug classes, despite no evidence that patients have had difficulty accessing these drugs,” PCMA president and CEO Mark Merritt said in a statement released Wednesday.

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