Medicare Part D is the pharmaceutical coverage for Medicare recipients. Approximately 22% of Medicare Part D spending goes to these top 10 prescription drugs. Part D covered 3,500 different prescription drugs with total gross spending of $216 billion. When drugs costs go up, premiums for Medicare go up and reimbursements to doctors are decreased. Kaiser Family Foundation compiled the data using 2021 drug claims. Drugs with the the highest cost under Medicare will be selected for negotiation thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, signed by President Biden, but it won't go into affect for many years! The Pharma Industry is fighting it madly.
Here are the top 10.
1. Eliquis- (a blood thinner)-$12.6B
2. Revlimid -(for multiple myeloma- a blood cancer) -$5.9B - Note it costs about $24,576 for 28 capsules.
3. Xarelto-(a blood thinner) $5.2B
4. Trulicity-(diabetes)- $4.7B
7. Imbruvica -(for blood cancers, leukemia)-$3.2B -note it costs $484/capsule, about $13,546 for 28 caps
8. Humira -(for many autoimmune conditions like crohns, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis) -$2.9B
9. Lantus Solostar- (diabetes)-$2.8B
On one hand its great to have development of life-saving pharmaceuticals. But when you look at the list it is obvious that 7 of the top 10 treat conditions that can be prevented with diet, exercise and healthier lifestyles. Just watch the majority of ads on TV, and especially children's programing. It's pushing high fat, sugary foods that have no nutritional value. But we have expensive drugs to solve the problems we have caused.
It is also important for readers of EverythingHealth to know that medicare payments to physicians have decreased 26% adjusted for inflation from 2001-2023 and another cut is planned for 2024. Because hospital costs, pharmaceutical costs and physician reimbursement are tied together, when more is spent on drugs it adversely affects physicians along with patient Medicare rates and co-pays. So we all pay the price.