Medicare Drug Benefit Boosts Pharmaceutical Use - Pharmaceutical Technology

Latest Issue
PharmTech

Latest Issue
PharmTech Europe

Medicare Drug Benefit Boosts Pharmaceutical Use
Expanded access to drugs for seniors has increased demand and focused attention on costs.


Pharmaceutical Technology


These stable premiums reflect lower-than-expected plan expenditures, which also have altered 10-year cost estimates for the program. Earlier this year, CBO predicted that outlays for the Medicare drug benefit would be $675 billion from 2007 to 2016, which is $265 billion less than earlier estimates because of plans' lower costs and enrollment.

Still, some seniors in Part D plans do incur high out-of-pocket costs compared with other retiree benefits. More than one-fourth of all seniors report spending at least $100 a month on medications, and 8% dole out $300 or more, according to the Kaiser survey. Individuals facing such costs are more likely to ignore or drop a prescription, especially for chronic conditions.

As Part D participation rises, program spending is sure to accelerate. Greater spending will inspire more aggressive utilization management and cost sharing by Part D plans and increased demand for cost-effectiveness information from manufacturers. The coming years promise rising premiums and cost sharing for beneficiaries, increased Congressional scrutiny of plan benefits and costs, sharper focus on drug prices in shaping formulary listings, and more competition from generics in important therapeutic categories. Even without federal price controls or a national formulary, Medicare Part D will set the tone for coverage and payment decisions throughout the US market, which in turn will shape pharmaceutical research and development and manufacturing strategies.

Jill Wechsler is Pharmaceutical Technology's Washington editor, 7715 Rocton Ave., Chevy Chase, MD 20815, tel. 301.656.4634,


ADVERTISEMENT

blog comments powered by Disqus
LCGC E-mail Newsletters

Subscribe: Click to learn more about the newsletter
| Weekly
| Monthly
|Monthly
| Weekly

Survey
Which of the following business challenge poses the greatest threat to your company?
Building a sustainable pipeline of products
Attracting a skilled workforce
Obtaining/maintaining adequate financing
Regulatory compliance
Building a sustainable pipeline of products
26%
Attracting a skilled workforce
29%
Obtaining/maintaining adequate financing
14%
Regulatory compliance
31%
View Results
Eric Langer Outsourcing Outlook Eric LangerBiopharma Outsourcing Activities Update
Cynthia Challener, PhD Ingredients Insider Cynthia Challener, PhDAppropriate Process Design Critical for Commercial Manufacture of Highly Potent APIs
Jill Wechsler Regulatory Watch Jill Wechsler FDA and Manufacturers Seek a More Secure Drug Supply Chain
Sean Milmo European Regulatory WatchSean MilmoQuality by Design?Bridging the Gap between Concept and Implementation
Report: Pfizer Makes $101 Billion Offer to AstraZeneca
Medicare Payment Data Raises Questions About Drug Costs
FDA Wants You!
A New Strategy to Tackle Antibiotic Resistance
Drug-Diagnostic Development Stymied by Payer Concerns
Source: Pharmaceutical Technology,
Click here