Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Seniors in the "Doughnut Hole" Buy Fewer Medications

About 12 percent of people receiving the Medicare prescription drug benefit in 2009 fell into the so-called “doughnut hole”—the gap in coverage that is part of the originally designed benefit—according to a study by the Kaiser Family Foundation released today.

While in the doughnut hole, where they receive no Medicare coverage for their prescription drugs, beneficiaries bought fewer drugs, including about 11 percent fewer monthly prescriptions in 2009, compared with the period in which they were getting prescription costs subsidized. The report, “Understanding the Effects of the Medicare Part D Coverage Gap in 2008 and 2009,” analyzes pharmacy claims data compiled by IMS Health and was conducted by researchers at Georgetown University, NORC at the University of Chicago, and the Kaiser Family Foundation.

APA, in collaboration with other mental health groups, established a Web site dedicated to delivering the latest information on Part D issues. And to read much more about the Medicare prescription drug benefit and the doughnut hole see Psychiatric News at

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