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CMS Demo To Lower Insulin Costs A Critical Step Forward for Patients

May 26, 2020 (Washington, D.C.) The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) applauds the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) May 26th announcement of a voluntary demonstration program aimed at lowering out-of-pocket costs for insulin in the Medicare Part D program.  Today’s announcement marks a significant step forward for those who rely on insulin to manage their diabetes and obtain coverage through Medicare Part D.  
One in five Americans age 65 and older has diabetes and most depend upon affordable access to medicines through Medicare Part D.  Cost-sharing has a significant impact on medication adherence and health outcomes for people living with diabetes or other chronic conditions.  In fact, as an economic analysis done for PFCD by IHS Markit shows, passing along
rebates on prescription diabetes medicines at the pharmacy counter could save individuals with diabetes $3.7 billion annually and reduce overall health care spending by improving medication adherence and reducing diabetes-related complications.
Diabetes also is frequently associated with one or more other chronic conditions. Uncontrolled diabetes raises risks for heart disease, stroke, amputations, blindness, and kidney disease.  For these reasons, lowering out-of-pocket costs for insulin will not only save Medicare beneficiaries money, but it will save lives by improving adherence and reducing the toll of diabetes and its complications.  The announcement is an important step forward, and PFCD encourages policymakers to consider rebate reforms to as a pathway to do even more to lower out-of-pocket costs people living with diabetes and other chronic conditions.
The Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease (PFCD) is an international coalition of hundreds of patient, provider, community, business and labor groups, and health policy experts, committed to raising awareness of the number one cause of death, disability and rising health care costs: chronic disease.