Prescription Drug Plan Gains Support

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Seniors are looking more favorablyon the Medicare Part D prescriptiondrug program, according to a surveyfrom the Kaiser Family Foundation.The positive shift in attitudes is thefirst since the foundation began trackingviews on the drug benefit in February2004.

The recent survey found that 32%of the 1200 respondents views thedrug benefit favorably, and an equalpercentage views it unfavorably. Theremaining 36% said that they did nothave enough information to give anopinion. The Medicare prescriptiondrug program takes effect January 1,2006. Approximately 43 million beneficiarieswill be able to select from 2 ormore private plans that offer drugcoverage.

Although government officials havebeen touting the drug benefit, andCongress has set aside $300 million inan awareness campaign, the surveyshows that more work is needed. Ofthe respondents, more than two thirdssaid that they understood the benefit"not too well" or "not well at all." Only 31% said that they understoodthe benefit "very well" or "somewhatwell." When polled about whetherthey would enroll in a Medicare drugplan, 33% of the seniors said no. About22% said that they would enroll, and40% said that they needed more informationbefore making a decision.