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Experts Discuss the Future of Prescription Medications

During the past month, several experts and Medicare officials have discussed the future of prescription medications. Almost all agree that the healthcare community needs a more advanced way to deal with the rising costs of medications.

Prescription Drugs’ Sizable Share of Health Spending by Drew Altman, president and chief executive officer of the Kaiser Family Foundation

The cost of prescription drugs is the hot health-care issue, but almost every discussion about it includes this caveat: As big a problem as rising drug prices have been for consumers and payers, drug spending represents only 10% of national spending on health. Yet, as the chart above shows, drug spending represents almost double that share of health spending (19%) in employer health insurance plans. That is not too much less than the 23% employers spend on inpatient hospital care. Read more >>

Doctors Should Prescribe Generic Drugs Over Branded Medications

In a recent report, the American College of Physicians call for all doctors to prescribe generic medications over brand-name drugs, where possible, in order to improve treatment adherence and reduce health care spending. Read more >>

Value-Based Pricing Will Help With High Rx Costs

Value-based drug payments are one part of the solution to the rising price of prescription drugs, several speakers said at a forum on drug pricing hosted by the Department of Health and Human Services. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) would like to hear more ideas about how to implement value-based payments for this kind of treatment, according to CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt. Read more >>

Medicare Drug Spending Dashboard is Announced

On December 21, 2015, CMS is released a new online dashboard to provide information on Medicare spending on prescription drugs, for both Part B (drugs administered in doctors’ offices and other outpatient settings) and Part D (drugs patients administer themselves) to provide additional information and increase transparency. Read more >>

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