WASHINGTON, July 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ —
Prescription drug spending growth slowed from an estimated 5.3
percent in 2009 to 3.5 percent in 2010, according to new data
released today by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services
(CMS) and reported on in Health Affairs. Researchers credit the
slowdown in spending growth to pharmacy benefit management tools
like tiered copays shifting medication use toward lower cost
generic drugs. Pharmaceutical Care Management Association (PCMA)
President and CEO Mark Merritt released the following statement
today on the new data:
“This new research confirms that innovative PBM tools –
including incentivizing the use of generic medications –
lower costs for consumers and payers. Payers and policymakers alike
should explore broader use of PBMs’ cost-saving tools and reject
policies that make it harder to reduce prescription drug costs.
“The cost explosion in Medicaid pharmacy – which unlike
Part D and the commercial market rejects many PBM tools – is
a stark reminder of the need to modernize pharmacy benefits.
“As Medicaid expands under the health care law, policymakers
should explore the Part D model for consumer-friendly ways to
reduce wasteful spending in Medicaid pharmacy. According to a recent
report, states and the federal government could save $33
billion – without cutting benefits for patients or payments
to doctors and hospitals – by bringing Medicaid pharmacy
benefits into the 21st century.”
Key data points from today’s Health Affairs report include:
- Prescription drug spending growth slowed from an estimated 5.3
percent in 2009 to 3.5 percent in 2010.
- “This deceleration resulted from continued slow growth in the
use of drugs and the ongoing change in the mix of drugs purchased,”
according to CMS.
- The generic dispensing rate is projected to have i