Medicare Struggles to Pay Soaring Drug Bills

The increase of 5,000% in the price of Daraprim , the drugs for toxoplasmosis, has received much media attention. But many other drugs have been price increases in the past year, which has affected the profitability of hard Medicare.

Medicare is the government insurance program for people 65 years or older, people with disabilities and people with kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant. The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) has tagged five drugs that have greatly increased the costs of Medicare Part D drug benefit. While some very costly brand name drugs are understandably problematic, there are also many generic drugs that are causing budget problems.

breaking the budget for Medicare Part D:

At the top of the list is to relieve pain Vimovo , an increase of 500%. This medicine is a combination of naproxen and esomeprazole.

Medicare spending on prescription drugs rose nearly 17% in 2014, far more than the inflation rate. Other drugs with steep price increases are very old captopril generic drugs for high blood pressure and digoxin to treat heart disease. The injectable form of vitamin B12, cyanocobalamin, rose 78%.

Brand name drugs representing significant Medicare spending include Abilify for the treatment of schizophrenia Crestor cholesterol lowering Sovaldi for hepatitis C and Rituxan for cancer.

Rising drug prices

The inexorable exorbitant increase and price of prescription drugs has been evident for about the last five years. And the pace appears to be accelerating. While the pharmaceutical industry often justifies the high prices of medicines by the need to invest in research and development, many of medicines with high prices are very old compounds with the costs that were amortized A long time ago.

Not surprisingly, a program that focuses heavily on seniors would be a blow; older people tend to have more health problems and more chronic conditions, so they end up taking more medicine. The pity is that the government has not discovered any way to handle this budget without hurting beneficiaries.

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