NY Medicare Rx Access Network

New York Health Works is launching the Medicare Rx Access Network of New York, a coalition of health care related groups including patient advocacy organizations, professional associations, social service organizations and senior related organizations that are committed to educating New Yorkers about Medicare Part D and fighting to protect this critical program.

The mission is to educate New Yorkers about Medicare Part D, advocate for the protection of Part D, help with enrollment and disseminate important information and resources about the program.

Medicare Part D is a vital program to New Yorkers. Part D provides disabled Americans and seniors access to affordable, life-saving medicines.  The most recent Medicare Today survey found that 88 percent of seniors say they are satisfied with their coverage.

The NY Medicare Rx Access Network will provide New Yorkers with important information about Part D at this critical time. As the November elections approach and the federal government deals with budget constraints, Medicare Part D will continue to be politicized. The top priority of lawmakers should be protecting seniors’ access to comprehensive health care coverage.

Medicare Part D works and more importantly provides disabled Americans and seniors with affordable access to medicines they depend on. Changes to Part D could result in higher premiums, fewer choices and reduced access to medications.

If you would like to join the Medicare Rx Access Network of New York, please email [email protected].

Support from Network Members

“Medicare Part D is a great program that helps many seniors. It is very exciting to partner with other organizations across New York State to help raise awareness about the program and serve as a resource during the open enrollment period. It is an important program, and we are looking forward working with the Medicare Rx Access Network in the coming months on this initiative.” – Sue Shipe, Executive Director of the International Institute for Human Empowerment

“Medicare Part D is an extremely vital program providing disabled Americans and seniors access to affordable life-saving and life-improving treatments. However, as the federal government continues to look for ways to reduce spending, Medicare Part D is in jeopardy. Many New Yorkers rely on this critical program to obtain their life-sustaining medications. Protecting access to critical comprehensive health care coverage for our most vulnerable citizens should be the top priority for our public officials; not cutting successful programs like Medicare D.” – Kathleen Arntsen, President of the Lupus Foundation of Mid and Northern New York

“Part D is a program that is successful, and has come in under budget. But most importantly – the program helps New Yorkers who are most in need. Why change what is already working? The patients I serve have enough on their plates when it comes to their healthcare; they don’t need government to find ways to cut costs by sacrificing their access to the medicines they need.” – Geri Barish, President of 1 in 9, The Long Island Breast Cancer Action Coalition

“Many pain sufferers are enrollees in the Part D program. Any proposals to Medicare Part D that would raise costs or reduce access would be catastrophic for a population that is already on a fixed income. It’s time to protect the health our seniors and disabled citizens. Let’s not make life harder for them.” – Paul Gileno, President of the US Pain Foundation

Medicare Part D

New York has more than 3 million Medicare beneficiaries enrolled in Part D, which is a federal program to subsidize the costs of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries in the United States. It was enacted as part of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003 (MMA) and went into effect on January 1, 2006.

Recently, the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics released a report, Cost Savings in Medicare Part D: The Prescription Drug Lifecycle, which examines the role the prescription drug life cycle plays in public policy. This report updates a report from 2011 that looked at savings in the Part D program.

In the new report, IMS examined the medicines covered under Medicare Part D from 2006 to 2010. It found that a group of brand-named (patented) medicines representing 28 percent of the all Part D 2006 spending lost patent protection during this period. At the same time, generic versions of those medicines became available to patients. This generic competition with brand name drugs helped save Medicare $8.1 billion. IMS also reports that generic competition will result in additional savings to Medicare over the next several years as another large group of medicines will lose patent protection.
To better understand the prescription drug life cycle concept IMS discussed in its reports, here is a video produced by PhRMA that helps explain how savings from generics are made possible by innovative medicines.