Medicare Part D Protecting Seniors from Online Drug Scams

Lower costs for prescription drugs for seniors on Medicare Part D has lowered online victims of counterfeit medicine as well.

National Association of Boards of Pharmacy executive director, Carmen Catizone, told Fox News, “Thankfully, we haven’t seen as many seniors being taken advantage of [by fake online pharmacies] since Medicare Part D began offering more subsidies for prescription drugs.”

Speaking to Fox news on how consumers can protect themselves, Catizone elaborated that often people believe they’re experts at finding unique, cheap deals on the internet, but when it came to medications, those deals were most likely to get you counterfeit medications.

Seniors on limited incomes have, in past years, been likely victims of fake online pharmacies, purchasing medications without proper active ingredients like so-called generic Lipitor, which is an obvious counterfeit because Lipitor has no generic.

Medicare Part D, the prescription drug program, was designed to cut costs by using private prescription drug plans overseen by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). After inception in 2005, the program has shown significant savings on medicines for Part D participants, which has lowered the number of seniors turning to unscrupulous online medicine vendors for their necessary prescriptions.

Said CMS, beneficiaries enrolled in a Part D drug plan are saving, on average, $1,200 annually on their medicines. Low-income seniors are saving an average of $4,000 a year, while the average insurance premium for Part D will be about $30 in 2012, 44% below initial projections.

While one problem with Part D, the “doughnut hole” coverage gap has caused seniors to not get sufficient coverage of their medication, it has been addressed by a new law that gives people in the “doughnut hole” a 50% discount on the total cost of their brand-name medications. By 2020, the gap will be fully closed as the law is implemented.

By S. Imber