Pharmacy Times
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Although the nation?s pharmacists continue their struggleto adjust to the new financial realities created by theMedicare Part D prescription benefit, for others the programis proving to be a bonanza. Indeed, a new reportfrom IMS Health concludes that Part D is creating ?goldenyears? for American seniors as well as for the pharmaceuticalindustry.

Whereas senior citizens had been the 1 segment of thepopulation least likely to have prescription-drug coverageprior to the inception of Part D, today more than half ofthe Medicare population is getting drug coverage underthe program. Yet, as 43 million elderly and disabledAmericans are now receiving prescription coverageunder Medicare, prescription-drug manufacturers areseeing a sharp increase in sales of expensive brand nameulcer medications and statins, IMS reports.

Part D has been credited with boosting sales of cholesterol-lowering statins by 7% and increasing demand forulcer- and heartburn-treating proton pump inhibitors by5%, despite the program?s being <2 years old, said theresearchers. IMS Health contends that the first few yearsof Medicare Part D will be ?golden years for enrollees andbranded pharmaceutical companies alike.?

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