New research published last week in the American Journal of Managed Care found reductions in mortality among Medicare beneficiaries following the implementation of Medicare Part D. We’ve talked before about how improved access to prescription medicines as a result of the Part D program has helped save lives.
Most notably, since the implementation of Medicare Part D in 2006, nearly 200,000 beneficiaries have lived at least 1 year longer, with an average increase in longevity of 3.3 years. That’s more birthdays, more books read, more grandkids visited and more important milestones shared as a result of better access to medicines.
Other key findings in the research include:
- On average, more than 22,000 lives were saved each year between 2006 and 2014, primarily from fewer deaths from medication-sensitive conditions like diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
- Between 2006 and 2014, total deaths associated with certain diseases and conditions declined, including:
- Deaths associated with diabetes declined by 100,400;
- Deaths associated with congestive heart failure declined by 53,100;
- Deaths from stroke declined by 40,400; and,
- Deaths from heart attacks declined by 25,100.
- Part D is also associated with fewer cases of certain conditions over the 2006 to 2014 period, including:
- An estimated 550,000 fewer cases of uncontrolled hypertension;
- 180,000 fewer new cases of congestive heart failure;
- 210,000 fewer heart attacks; and,
- 830,000 more people with tightly controlled diabetes.
These findings add to a large body of research on the success of Medicare Part D. Last week we shared a video of patients sharing their stories about Medicare Part D. Next week we’ll continue celebrating Medicare’s 50th anniversary, so be sure to check back with us and join the conversation online using #MedicareMonday.
Allyson Funk Ally is a former senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focused on advocacy issues for the biopharmaceutical industry. Her expertise includes Medicare, Medicaid, 340B, health reform and more. Prior to PhRMA, her experience includes leading health communications for a large membership organization, supporting public affairs clients and working for the governor of Louisiana.