WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 12, 2019) – Eighty-six percent of AARP members support the administration’s proposed rule to reform the rebate system in Medicare Part D, according to a nationwide Morning Consult survey commissioned by the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). Despite overwhelming support from their membership, AARP continues to oppose the rebate rule while receiving hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue from insurance companies every year.
In Medicare Part D, insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) negotiate significant rebates on medicines, but often don’t share those savings with seniors directly. The rule proposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) would change this by ensuring the rebates negotiated with biopharmaceutical companies are entirely passed through to seniors at the pharmacy counter.
Even after being told it may increase premiums by $3 to $6 per month, the vast majority of AARP members -- 73% -- support the proposed rule since savings at the pharmacy counter would more than offset premium increases. For example, a senior with diabetes taking five medicines, including insulin, could save nearly $900 a year, according to Avalere Health.
In comments submitted on the rebate rule (see here and here), AARP consistently opposes it, echoing concerns raised by insurance companies, from whom AARP has received the vast majority of their revenue in recent years. Eighty-five percent of AARP members say they are disappointed in AARP for siding with insurers in opposition to the rebate rule, according to the new survey.
“We are fighting to lower costs for seniors by forcing insurance companies and middlemen to share negotiated savings at the pharmacy counter,” said PhRMA executive vice president of public affairs Robert Zirkelbach. “Yet AARP is choosing to stand with insurance companies rather than their own members. It begs the question: Who is AARP really fighting for?”
The new advertisements will be featured in print, digital and social channels in Washington, D.C., and select states. The first print advertisement highlights AARP members’ support for rebate reform and AARP’s alignment with insurance companies in opposition to it.
View the new print advertisement here.
Key facts about AARP’s relationship with insurance companies:
Learn more at WhoisAARP.org.
Get more facts about AARP here.
The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA) represents the country’s leading innovative biopharmaceutical research companies, which are devoted to discovering and developing medicines that enable patients to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. Since 2000, PhRMA member companies have invested more than $900 billion in the search for new treatments and cures, including an estimated $79.6 billion in 2018 alone.