Generic medicines will play a key rolein the government's efforts to hold downMedicare prescription drug benefit costs,according to Centers for Medicare &Medicaid Services (CMS) AdministratorMark McClellan, MD, PhD.
Dr. McClellan released new CMS datato Congress suggesting that the cost ofMedicare Part D isalready significantlylower than originallyprojected. According tothose figures, the netcost to the governmentfor drug coverage in2006 is expected to be$30.5 billion, down from previous estimatesof $38.1 billion. Additionally, premiumsfor the average individual will beabout a third less than previously estimated,at $25 per month. Over 10 years, theprogram is now expected to weigh in at$70 billion less than originally projected.