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Medicare prescription medication plans more expensive than Walmart Generic Discount Program

Patients had to spend more on a significant portion of Medicare's prescription drug plans, according to a research letter, compared to Walmart's Generic Rebate Program for 30-Day Deliveries of Generic Drugs to Treat Prevalent Cardiovascular Disease Published in Annals of Internal Medicine .

Yale School of Medicine researchers compared the cost of spending on various Medicare prescription drug plans (PDPs) against Walmart's Generic Drug Rebate Program (GDDP).

"Health plans are increasingly shifting costs onto patients to control expenditure, and more expensive outlays could negatively impact patients' drug adherence and health consequences," the researchers write. "GDDPs, including one from Walmart, were launched in 2006 and sell many commonly used generic drugs for $ 4 per 30-day coverage regardless of insurance status and can result in patient savings."

The analysis included 1

,533 Medicare Advantage PDPs (MA -PDPs) and 622 standalone PDPs. Walmart's GDDP list identified 27 generic drugs used for prevalent cardiovascular disease. Of 27 medications. Medicare PDPs cover a median of 25 medications. According to the researchers, the median share of plans where patients had to spend more than $ 4 out of pocket for covered drugs was 21 percent.

According to the researchers, the median total cost of medication across all stages was $ 2 (IQR, $ 0- $ 5), and the cost was significantly different between MA-PDPs and PDPs for first and second tier drugs Choose Care Tiers (median cost, $ 2 vs. $ 1) and for medications in other tiers (median cost, $ 10 vs. $ 3).

"In particular, MA-PDPs increasingly oblige patients more out of pocket than PDPs alone, a counterintuitive outcome, considering that MA plans for acute care, outpatient services and other health care expenditures for their beneficiaries and not just for pharmaceutical services such as standalone -PDPs are responsible, "the researchers wrote. – by Jake Scott

Disclosure s :
The authors do not report relevant financial revelations.

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