The top lobbyist for the pharmaceutical industry on Thursday said his group will emphasize the successes of Medicare's Part D program as policymakers tackle the difficult task of Medicare reform.
Speaking at the National Press Club in Washington, John Castellani, president and CEO of the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, said Medicare Part D—which covers prescription drugs—has a consumer satisfaction rate of more than 90% and saved the Medicare program about $13 billion in 2006, its first year. “Secondly, we know it works because it is based on a market-based solution,” Castellani said. “And the costs were 40% less than when the bill was first enacted. We know market-based solutions work,” he continued.
Castellani's remarks on Medicare Part D came a day after his organization released a statement responding to a Bloomberg news article that said drugmakers could push U.S. government spending on prescription drugs even as lawmakers are searching for ways to reduce healthcare spending. “The article is based on improperly obtained internal documents that were in draft form,” the statement said. “The documents do not contain official PhRMA policy positions, which are set by the organization's board of directors.”