New study gives insights into overall satisfaction with Medicare Part D

May 27, 2008

The results of 13 focus groups on Medicare Part D have been compiled into a report for MedPAC.

Comparing how satisfied patients, physicians, and pharmacists are with the Medicare Part D program, pharmacists seem to be the least likely to be satisfied. That's one conclusion from a final report just issued by the National Opinion Research Center at the University of Chicago. Here are some other findings:

  • Physicians are more likely to change a prescription to an alternative medication than to seek a prior authorization or exemption from formulary restrictions.
  • Pharmacists report that the messaging from drug plans doesn't always identify alternative drugs, which would speed the drug switching process.
  • Physicians have no problem placing their patients on generics with the exception of a few drugs, such as Synthroid (levothyroxine sodium, Abbott) and Coumadin (warfarin sodium, Bristol-Myers Squibb).
  • No patient reported being enrolled in a medication therapy management program.

The report is based on a series of 13 focus groups held in Denver, Colo.; Richmond, Va.; and Portland, Maine, from July through October 2007. Entitled "Experiences Obtaining Drugs under Part D: Focus Groups with Beneficiaries, Physicians, and Pharmacists," the study was conducted for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission (MedPAC).