MAPRx Highlights of the Medicare Part D 15th Anniversary Summit


September 18, 2018


Mike Donnelly

Highlights of the Medicare Part D 15th Anniversary Summit

Event Hosted by MAPRx, a Coalition of Patient Advocate Groups Convened by
the Lupus Foundation of America

WASHINGTON – Medicare Access for Patients Rx (MAPRx), a coalition of over 55 patient
advocacy organizations, today hosted a summit to celebrate the 15th anniversary of Medicare Part
D. The event included panel discussions featuring policymakers, health care thought leaders, and
patient advocates. The conversation focused on current challenges facing the program and ways
to help strengthen it for current and future beneficiaries. The panels were moderated by
renowned journalist Cokie Roberts.

“This historic summit brought together some of America’s leading health care experts and
policymakers,” said Sandra C. Raymond, CEO of the Lupus Foundation of America (LFA). “On
behalf of the LFA, and MAPRx and its more than 55 member organizations, I want to thank all
of our panelists for lending their voices in support of Medicare Part D and the 43 million
Americans who rely on it. I am confident that by working together we can protect and strengthen
this critical program for many years to come.”

The day opened with a discussion between two current officials from the U.S. Department of
Health and Human Services (HHS). Dan Best, Senior Advisor to the Secretary for Drug Pricing
Reform, and John O’Brien, Advisor to the Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Health
Policy, shared the administration’s perspective on Part D, including their efforts to implement
the recently released American Patients First blueprint to lower drug prices and reduce out-of-
pocket (OOP) costs. View a recording of their remarks here.

Following their remarks, leading patient advocates spoke about the importance of Part D for
America’s seniors and those living with serious and chronic conditions. Panelists from The AIDS
Institute, National Council on Aging, National Alliance on Mental Illness, and American Cancer
Society Cancer Action Network recalled the lack of access to prescription drugs prior to the
passage of Part D and spoke about the success of the benefit in providing lifesaving therapies for
the populations they represent. Panelists also referenced the report produced by the MAPRx
Coalition: Fifteen Years of Part D: Gaining Perspective on the Medicare Prescription Drug
Benefit. This report highlighted the success of Part D and the challenges faced by patients,
including no limits on OOP costs, the use of specialty tiers, and the impending OOP cliff that

could raise beneficiaries spending by $1,250 in 2020. Click here to view a recording of this

The next panel featured three of the leading voices in the crafting and implementation of the
original legislation creating the Part D benefit: Joel White, Liz Fowler, and Dean Rosen. They
discussed the motivation of the administration and Congress to create a prescription drug benefit,
as well as the compromises that were made to pass the legislation in a bipartisan manner. The
panelists also shared their perspectives on the success of the program and ways it can be
improved. View a recording of this panel here.

Finally, the audience heard from two speakers who were directly responsible for administering
Part D under two different administrations: Jon Blum, former Director, Center for Medicare,
CMS (2009-2014), and Tom Scully, former Administrator, CMS (2001-2004). Mr. Blum and
Scully gave their perspectives on the evolution of the program over the years, as well as their
views on the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. View a recording of their remarks here.

The featured guest at the event was George W. Bush, 43rd President of the United States.
To watch a full recording of the panel discussions, click here.

About MAPRx

MAPRx is a coalition convened by the Lupus Foundation of America consisting of more than 55
patient, family caregiver, and health professional organizations committed to strengthening and
protecting Medicare Part D. Learn more about MAPRx at

About the Lupus Foundation of America

The Lupus Foundation of America is the only national force devoted to solving the mystery of
lupus, one of the world’s cruelest, most unpredictable and devastating diseases, while giving
caring support to those who suffer from its brutal impact. Through a comprehensive program of
research, education, and advocacy, we lead the fight to improve the quality of life for all people
affected by lupus. Learn more about the Lupus Foundation of America at

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