Online tool to allow public and policymakers to explore financial burden that scores of costly drugs place on Medicare program

Online tool to allow public and policymakers to explore financial burden that scores of costly drugs place on Medicare program

On Monday, Federal health officials came up with an online tool using which public and policymakers will be able to explore the financial burden the Medicare program and the seniors of the nation face because of scores of highly expense drugs

The ‘dashboard’ is quite interactive as it displays the total spending in Medicare for every listed drug, and latest trends in its price and the number of old people in America, relying on it. It would reveal which pharmaceuticals have been driving up spending on drug and the factors behind the increases, in a new way.

It has shown that Solvadi, a hepatitis C drug, which is a cure that hit the market previous year with a $1,000-per-pill price tag, has rocketed, becoming the drug for which Medicare expenditures were highest last year. When the government’s and patients’ portions were combined, nearly 33,000 Medicare beneficiaries obtain the drug for an overall spending of $3.1 billion.

Prescribed for the treatment of acid reflux for 1.4 million beneficiaries, Nexium had the second-highest expenditure at about $2.6 billion. The third and fourth ranks were respectively taken by Crestor, a medicine taken to control cholesterol levels, and Abilify, prescribed for psychiatric and mood disorders, at over $2 billion each.

The dashboard has come into being by Health and Human Services officials at such a time when surveys have suggested that making medicines more affordable is the main health policy concern of the public. Last year, the US drug spending has gone up by 12%, which is far more than other health-care costs.

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