Medicare Part D Costs Increased Despite Less Drugs Being Prescribed


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Julia Cohen Reporter

Total Medicare Part D reimbursement for brand-name drugs increased 62 percent from 2011 to 2015, according to a report released by the Department of Health And Human Services Office of Inspector General on Monday.

This increase came despite a 155 percent increase in manufacturer rebates and a 17 percent decrease in prescriptions, according to the report.

Drugs that were prescribed less had greater increases in costs on average. Of the prescriptions included in the study, those that had a decrease in the number of prescriptions increased in price 38 percent, while those that were prescribed in equal or lesser amounts over the same time period increased in price 23 percent.

One rheumatoid arthritis drug, Cuprimine, increased 2,143 percent in price.

The highest out-of-pocket costs for beneficiaries came from brand-name insulin, cholesterol, and inhaler prescriptions. This is because these are the most used categories of medication. (RELATED: Here’s Where Your Healthcare Dollars Go)

Prescription drug costs are a major issue for President Donald Trump. The president signaled that several drug producers would announce price cuts in mid-June at a May bill signing ceremony.

The White House and pharmaceutical companies did not elaborate on the president’s claims.

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