June 21, 2021

Government Panel: Higher Drug Prices, not More Prescriptions, Are Driving Higher Medicare Spending

Medicare’s spending on prescription drugs increased by 26% between 2013 and 2018 — and high drug prices are to blame — according to a new report from the Medicare Advisory Payment Commission (MedPAC).

The expert report rebuts the pharmaceutical industry’s claim that higher Medicare spending was driven by more prescriptions being filled, not the price of those drugs. Additionally, Medicare Part D rebates did not offset the higher drug prices.

“This study confirms again what every retiree knows: Americans are paying the highest prices in the world for prescription drugs. It doesn’t have to be this way,” said Alliance Executive Director Richard Fiesta. “Patients and taxpayers will save $500 billion if Congress passes legislation allowing Medicare to negotiate lower prices. We know that drug price negotiation works, and it is high time that Congress put patients and the American public ahead of pharmaceutical corporation profits.”

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