Seniors should use generics to avoid "doughnut hole," policymakers say

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CMS Administrator Mark McClellan is urging greater use of generic drugs by Medicare prescription drug program beneficiaries to cut costs and improve access, he told the Senate Committee on Aging.

McClellan also said that beginning next year, more Medicare plans that offer coverage for generic drugs will be available and a list evaluating Medicare drug plans' generic drug coverage also will be available soon.

Committee member Herb Kohl (D-WI) agreed with McClellan that it is important to encourage beneficiaries to use more generic drugs. He noted that such use could delay or prevent them from falling into the so-called "doughnut hole" coverage gap, according to a report in the Congress Daily.