Saturday, January 21, 2006

Free drug plans end; headaches begin

Dallas Morning News | News for Dallas, Texas | Latest News: "Ed and Patricia Weymouth get 10 medications free from pharmaceutical companies, but that help will end in May.

The Dallas couple blames Medicare's new drug coverage.

'A Medicare benefit that's supposed to help seniors will penalize us,' Mr. Weymouth said.

He's shopped for Medicare drug plans for him and his wife but has found the cheapest ones will add $216 a month to their drug costs.

This can't be making the GOP happy.

'It was drugs or food for us before we heard of these pharmaceutical company assistance programs,' he said. 'Will we have to make that choice again?'

Hundreds of thousands of seniors may be asking the same question.

As Medicare's drug coverage takes effect, the pharmaceutical industry has started scaling down its patient assistance programs. Two companies will no longer take applications from people over 65; others will help only seniors who don't enroll in the drug program."


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