(Washington, D.C.)—A new survey conducted by Hart Research Associates on behalf of the Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA) shows that nine in 10 seniors from urban, suburban, small town and rural areas have convenient access to preferred pharmacies in Medicare Part D. These findings challenge claims that rural seniors face unique challenges in Part D that require new legislative or regulatory changes. Such claims are often repeated, but are not supported in the data.

“This poll explains why seniors from all parts of the country rose up against this year’s proposed Part D rule — they like their low cost plans and don’t want Washington to disrupt them,” said PCMA President and CEO Mark Merritt. “The findings also confirm the wisdom of Ms. Tavenner’s recent assurance to reject other regulations that undermine preferred networks in Part D.”

Key findings from rural and small town seniors surveyed include:

  • Overwhelming satisfaction with their preferred pharmacy plan, 84 percent and 90 percent, respectively.
  • Overwhelming satisfaction with convenient access to a preferred pharmacy, 89 percent and 86 percent, respectively.
  • Overwhelming satisfaction with the number of preferred pharmacies in their plan, 83 percent and 84 percent, respectively.

“Our survey provides convincing evidence that seniors from all locations — rural, small towns, cities, and suburbs — are overwhelmingly satisfied with their Part D plans and access to preferred pharmacies,” said Geoffrey Garin, President of Hart Research Associates, a leading survey research firm.

A recent study by the Moran Company on legislation backed by the drugstore lobby championing so-called any willing pharmacy mandates in Part D found that the bill would increase Medicare spending by $21 billion over the next 10 years.

Currently, there are more pharmacies in the U.S. than McDonalds, Burger King, Pizza Hut, Wendy’s, Taco Bell, Kentucky Fried Chicken, Domino’s Pizza, and Dunkin’ Donuts locations combined, creating a highly competitive environment.