WEDNESDAY, July 7, 2021 (HealthDay News) -- Can Costco bushed Medicare Part D erstwhile it comes to medicine cause prices?
Apparently so, claims a caller survey that recovered that astir fractional of generic medications were cheaper erstwhile purchased from the discount retailer than from the authorities program.
The researchers compared the prices paid by Medicare Part D plans (including diligent out-of-pocket payments) for 184 generic prescription drugs to the currency prices paid by Costco members for the aforesaid prescriptions successful 2017 and 2018. More than 45 cardinal Americans are enrolled successful Medicare Part D, which provides sum for outpatient prescriptions.
Compared to Costco subordinate prices, Medicare plans overspent by 13% successful 2017 and astir 21% successful 2018, the findings showed. Medicare program participants paid much than Costco members connected astir 53% of 90-day fills successful 2018. On each 30- and 90-day medicine fills, Medicare plans overpaid 43% of the time, the University of Southern California (USC) researchers found.
"Our investigation shows that successful systems similar Costco's, wherever incentives are acceptable up to present worth straight to the user astatine the pharmacy counter, that's what happens," said survey writer Erin Trish. She is subordinate manager of the USC Schaeffer Center and an adjunct prof of pharmaceutical and wellness economics astatine USC's School of Pharmacy.
"It's clip to hole those incentives successful the Medicare Part D strategy to enactment the diligent first," Trish said successful a USC quality release.
Her squad published its findings online July 6 arsenic a probe missive successful JAMA Internal Medicine.
Pharmacy payment managers and different intermediaries negociate cause prices connected behalf of Medicare, but they don't look to beryllium passing each of the savings from the negotiated prices to the plans and the patients, according to the researchers.
Generic drugs relationship for 22% of Part D spending, truthful policymakers should instrumentality a person look astatine the practices of these intermediaries, the squad suggested.
Study writer Geoffrey Joyce is manager of wellness argumentation astatine the Schaeffer Center and seat of the section of pharmaceutical and wellness economics astatine the USC School of Pharmacy. He said, "Efforts to trim medicine cause prices thin to absorption connected brand-name medicines, but the opaque pharmaceutical proviso strategy tin besides origin wellness plans and taxpayers to overpay for generics."
And Karen Van Nuys, enforcement manager of the Schaeffer Center's Value of Life Sciences Innovation Program and adjunct prof astatine USC's School of Public Policy, added, "There is tons of terms contention among manufacturers for these drugs, but that contention isn't benefiting the consumer. These are not small-market drugs wherever determination mightiness beryllium lone 1 supplier who tin sanction their price."
Medicare.gov has much connected Medicare Part D.
SOURCE: University of Southern California, quality release, July 6, 2021