By Robert Preidt
MONDAY, Sept. 14, 2020 (HealthDay Information) — Here is proof that prescription drugs do not must break the bank: New analysis finds Medicare saved billions as extra generic cholesterol-lowering medicines grew to become out there, although the variety of Individuals utilizing the medicine elevated.
“Some of the necessary contributors to our well being care prices is expenditure on pharmaceuticals,” stated examine writer Dr. Ambarish Pandey, a heart specialist and assistant professor of inner drugs at College of Texas (UT) Southwestern Medical Heart. “The change to generics is an efficient technique to chop the prices incurred by well being methods.”
For the examine, researchers analyzed Medicare Half D Prescription Drug knowledge from January 2014 by means of December 2018. They discovered that the variety of prescriptions for statins and different cholesterol-lowering medicine climbed from 20.5 million to 25.2 million in that interval, a 23% enhance.
However although prescriptions for the medicine rose, complete prices decreased, based on the examine.
The variety of prescriptions for generic cholesterol-lowering medicine rose by 35%, from 17.8 million to 24 million, whereas general spending on statins fell by 52%, from $4.8 billion in 2014 to $2.3 billion in 2018.
Statins are the preferred sort of cholesterol-lowering drug in the US, prescribed to greater than 35 million folks.
Throughout the examine interval, Medicare nonetheless spent $9.6 billion on brand-name cholesterol-lowering medicines, however may have saved a further $2.5 billion of that by switching to generics extra shortly after they grew to become out there, the researchers famous.
The findings have been printed Sept. 9 within the journal JAMA Cardiology.
“It is necessary for our well being care system to search out avenues to turn out to be extra cost-efficient and accessible,” stated examine first writer Dr. Andrew Sumarsono, an assistant professor of inner drugs at UT Southwestern.
“Despite the fact that there’s nonetheless numerous work to be finished, it’s encouraging to see how shortly sufferers switched to generic choices as soon as they grew to become out there,” Sumarsono stated in a UT Southwestern information launch. “This fast change to generics saved Medicare some huge cash.”