Amid heightened public concern, the cost of prescription drugs is the focus of renewed attention by the Trump administration, the Biden campaign and lawmakers in Congress and state capitals. Proposed actions range from sweeping health care system changes to targeted initiatives that could affect Medicare, Medicaid and private insurance. See KFF’s research, analysis and public opinion data, as well as Kaiser Health News’ journalism, related to prescription drugs and their costs.

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A Side-by-Side Comparison of the Prescription Drug Coverage Provisions of S.1 and H.R. 1

This document, prepared by Health Policy Alternatives, Inc., provides a detailed side-by-side comparison of the prescription drug provisions of the House and Senate Medicare proposals, as passed on June 27, 2003. Along with these provisions, the side-by-side compares the major provisions relating to the role of private health plans in…

How Do Patterns of Prescription Drug Coverage and Use Differ for White, African American, and Latino Medicare Beneficiaries Under 65 and 65+

This chartpack provides a snapshot of racial/ethnic differences in Medicare beneficiaries? prescription drug coverage, use, and spending. It examines patterns separately for beneficiaries under age 65 and 65+. The summary discusses the relevance of the key findings to the current policy debates about prescription drug coverage. Chartpack (.pdf)

The Current Medicare Prescription Drug Debate: Briefing Charts

These briefing charts provide background information on prescription drug use and spending among the Medicare population, recent survey data on employers' likely reaction to a Medicare drug benefit, an overview of the proposals for prescription drug coverage passed by the House and Senate at the end of June 2003, and…

Impact of Direct-to-Consumer Advertising on Prescription Drug Spending

A new study by researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology looks at the effect of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising on spending for prescription drugs. The study found that, on average, a 10% increase in DTC advertising of drugs within a therapeutic drug class resulted in a 1% increase in sales of the drugs in that class.

Demand Effects of Recent Changes in Prescription Drug Promotion

The rapid increase in DTC advertising for prescription drugs has focused attention on its role in drug spending and prescribing. A new study by researchers at Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology looks at the effect of direct-to-consumer (DTC) advertising on spending for prescription drugs. The study found…

Medicare Prescription Drugs Through Private Drug-Only Plans: A Discussion with Actuaries

Central to the current debate over Medicare prescription drug coverage is the role of private insurance plans in providing drug benefits to Medicare beneficiaries. This report offers views from health actuaries knowledgeable about the Medicare program and the prescription drug debate on key issues that emerge for potential plan sponsors,…

Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending Chartpack

This chartpack provides 2003 and 2006 estimates of total and out-of-pocket prescription drug spending by Medicare beneficiaries. The data and analysis for this chartpack, prepared by Actuarial Research Corporation, assume no change in current law.Chart Pack