Coalition addresses Medicare improvements

September 1, 1999

Pharmaceutical Representative

Citizens for Better Medicare is launching a public information and education program to help the American public understand the issues surrounding Medicare reform.

Citizens for Better Medicare, a new coalition representing senior citizens, large and small businesses, pharmaceutical research companies and patient advocates, is launching a public information and education program to help the American public understand the issues surrounding Medicare reform.

Among the founding members of the coalition are the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, the National Kidney Cancer Association, the United Seniors Association, the Seniors Coalition and the National Association of Manufacturers.

The group pledged to educate the public in a grassroots campaign on Medicare reform. "As Congress and the administration take up the very important issue of reforming the current Medicare program, it is critically important that all Americans are fully informed of both the need for reform and the changes being proposed," said Tim Ryan, executive director of the coalition, formerly with PhRMA. "Members of the coalition believe the Medicare system must be strengthened and improved for all seniors and that expanding drug coverage for seniors and the disabled is a critical part of that reform."

Ryan added: "The members of this coalition are among the most informed people in the country about patients, seniors, medicine and Medicare. We think we have something important to add, and we look forward to engaging the public in this critical debate."

Among the reform principles advocated by Citizens for a Better Medicare are the following:


•Â Strengthening and improving the Medicare program to meet the needs of seniors and the disabled.


•Â Ensuring special assistance for low-income seniors.


•Â Ensuring that doctors have more say in decisions regarding which prescription medicines doctors prescribe for their patients.


•Â Protecting the choices seniors have from being displaced by a government-managed program.


•Â Guaranteeing "real reform that does not threaten research for tomorrow's cures."

The coalition also launched a Web site, www.bettermedicare.org, where more details about the joint effort can be found. PR

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