Restorative Measures to Inadequate Government Provision for Senior Access to Prescription Drugs

Some families of seniors in particular require medication that is not affordable even with aid from the United States government through Medicare Part D. Pamela Cianci, a cardiology nurse reported that even with Medicare Part D insurance coverage “many people over 65 come close to bankruptcy over medication.” With an eye toward restorative measures, Megan R. (Herwald) Donley, Regent Juris Doctor 2012, recently researched this problem in her article entitled "Ripping the Band-Aid off of Medicare Part D: The Problem of Access to Prescription Drugs."

This article, written by Donley for a course in Elder Law with a focus on family restoration, examines whether it is the United States government’s proper role to provide senior citizens with all prescription medications to solve the problem of the lack of access to necessary medication. She begins by detailing the problem that many seniors face in obtaining their medications by examining Medicare Part D and its infamous donut hole, establishing that wealth is not the only hindrance to access, and reviewing the facts and figures relating to the rising cost of prescription drugs. Then she examines various theories presented for solving the access problem including the international or socialized medicine model, the rights based approach, the theory of consensus, the solution through economics and rationing, and finally an ethical model.

Understanding the lack of provision under federal law, and implementing the significance of common good and personal responsibility, Donley proposes creative solutions involving individual responsibility and corporate ethics. Her article concludes by advocating creative solutions over universal health care or increased government interference as the most effective solution to the problem that seniors face in accessing prescription drugs. You can read her entire article here.

If healthcare businesses adopt an ethical focus and seniors are empowered to champion their own medical choices, then there would be much less dissatisfaction with the health care system.

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