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Users Complain of Medicare Problems

Pharmacists and seniors complain the new Medicare prescription drug program is fraught with problems. Federal health officials say they're trying to rectify the situation, and are urging people to be patient. KPBS Reporter Kenny Goldberg has more.

The new Medicare prescription drug benefit kicked in on January 1st. Federal health officials promised the program would work smoothly.

But it hasn't. Numerous patients complain of not being able to get their medications. And when patients or phamacists call health plans for help they're often put on hold for more than an hour.

Fadi Atiya runs San Diego's Galloway pharmacy.

Atiya: "We have these patients that are coming in with ID cards that are not working. Or they're coming in with cards that do work and they're supposed to have zero co-pays, yet co-pays appear."

Medicare officials concede there are some problems with the new prescription drug program. But officials say they're getting a handle on things.

Kenny Goldberg, KPBS News.

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