Part D formulary strategies examined

The Associated Press examines the formulary strategies Part D insurers are using to encourage plan participants to take less expensive medicines. Many are requiring prior approval for prescriptions. Others are choosing to limit the quantity of a drug a patient is entitled to. Avalere Health consultant Dan Mendelson is interviewed by the agency. Mendelson notes that "Medicare plans have placed on average 88 drugs on specialty tiers...that's unprecedented." Plan participants must typically pay a co-payment ranging from one-third to half or more of a medicine's cost for drugs in specialty tiers, also known as the fourth tier.

- see this AP article

PLUS: In a Boston Globe Op-Ed, Newt Gingrich assails the "shrill cries that the sky is falling on senior citizens" after the coming of Part D and defends the program as a responsible benefit. Article

ALSO: Counterpoint: Harvard's Dr. Jerry Avorn takes a rather different position in a piece in the New England Journal of Medicine. Article | Audio