Consumers Union finds fault with Part D ratings

October 15, 2007

Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, criticizes the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Service's system for rating Medicare Part D prescription drug plans as meaningless.

The current system for rating and comparing Medicare Part D prescription drug plans (PDPs) is confusing, meaningless, and should be reformed according to Consumers Union, publisher of Consumer Reports. In a letter sent to Kerry Weems, CMS' acting administrator, the consumer organization faulted the rating system for ignoring information such as how much PDPs increased drug prices during the year, or whether a PDP has more lower-cost generics on its drug list than high-priced brands. Instead, the rating system includes information of little use to consumers, like the ease for pharmacist in filling a prescription. CMS recently released information on the 2008 PDPs in preparation for open enrollment, which begins Nov. 15.

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