Monday, September 25, 2006

Doughnut Drop-outs study released today by Wolters Kluwer Health, a global provider of drug and medical information services and content to the healthcare and pharmaceutical industries, projects that by year’s end, 35 percent of all Medicare Part D enrollees or approximately six million people will have entered the ’doughnut hole,’ a nearly $3,000 coverage gap inherent to the new Medicare drug prescription plan. By the end of this month alone, a total of four million Medicare-eligible seniors and disabled, averaging seven prescriptions per month, are estimated to enter the gap.

According to the new data, those who fell into the doughnut hole this year chose to discontinue therapy 16 percent of the time across all non-acute therapeutic categories. Some discontinuance rates were considerably higher, for example, the anti-arthritics category saw a 33.4 percent drop in usage. The findings also indicate a 4 percent increase in brand utilization across all non-acute therapies during the period January-August 2006.
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