Medco Health discovered this in their latest study into Medicare drug trends. Their conclusion is that Medicare could save more money if seniors went for generics 100% of the time.
Rational selection, indeed. In a study from the Kaiser Family Foundation (KFF), Medicare Prescription Drug Plans in 2008 and Key Changes Since 2006, the average out-of-pocket cost for seniors’ generic drugs was $5.32, compared with $29.86 for a brand name Rx.
The AARP Report looks at the cost trends in Medicare Part D prescription drugs. AARP found that in the first two years of Part D, 2006 and 2007, prices for the 144 specialty drugs most widely used by seniors increased 7.9% and 8.7%, respectively. These increases were greater than in the two years before the benefit kicked in, at 5 percent in 2004 and 6.8% in 2005.
Health Populi’s Hot Points: I combined these two news stories because specialty drugs are new drugs. Thus, seniors won’t have a choice to adopt generics in the doughnut hole…and seniors who are prescribed specialty drugs will surely reach the donut hole quickly given the high costs of specialty drugs.