Usage of brand-name drugs has declined but seniors are still paying more although they are receiving less, according to a report by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (DHHS).
The Office of Inspector General (OIG) found:
- Total reimbursements for all brand-name drugs in Part D increased 77 percent from 2011 to 2015, despite a 17-percent decrease in the number of prescriptions for these drugs.
- Reimbursement for brand-name drugs in Part D increased 62 percent from 2011 to 2015.
- Part D unit costs for brand-name drugs rose nearly 6 times faster than inflation from 2011 to 2015.
- The percentage of beneficiaries responsible for out-of-pocket costs of at least $2,000 per year for brand-name drugs nearly doubled across the 5-year span.
For the full report, click here.
Healthcare Finance News argued that if forced to chose between food and utility bills or medication, patient compliance with care plans could decline and result in increases readmissions, hospitalization and mortality rates.
Rural hospitals also face risks with rising drug costs as they may be forced to forfeit updates and other important hospital upkeep.