A new issue brief from the Center for Economic and Policy Research confirms the bad news that seniors who get their prescriptions under Part D already feared...their costs for drugs are skyrocketing.

According to "Changes in the Costs of Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, 2007-2008" , the average Part D premium will rise by 24.5 percent from 2007-08 meaning an average premium price of $293 per year, or $57.70 more than last year.

The report also finds that an average of 20% of the private plans offering doughnut hole coverage last year are dropping that coverage in 2008...leaving more seniors vulnerable to huge out-of-pocket costs. Combine all of this with increases in co-pays, ever-changing formularies, and pricing tiers and it’s easy to understand why seniors find the Part D morass so hard to navigate.

And without fundamental reforms to the prescription drug program, these problems will only get worse over time.