With the approval of new specialty drugs, such as the Hepatitis C treatments Sovaldi and Harvoni, states are mindful that the cost the Medicaid prescription drug benefit could increase. To achieve savings, and improve management and health outcomes, it is important to understand which drugs are most frequently prescribed and which drive spending. Using state drug utilization data provided through the Medicaid Drug Rebate Program, as well as an industry drug database, this issue brief examines trends in prescriptions and spending before rebates, and places findings in the context of policy discussion.
Amid heightened public concern, the cost of prescription drugs is the focus of renewed attention by the Trump administration 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.
Featured Prescription Drugs Resources
KFF Health Tracking Poll – October 2019: Health Care In The Democratic Debates, Congress, And The Courts
This poll examines health care issues in the Democratic presidential primary , government negotiation of prescription drug prices, party trust on health care, Medicare-for-all, and the pending Texas v. US lawsuit affecting the Affordable Care Act and pre-existing condition protections.
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Related Prescription Drugs Resources
- 10 FAQs on Prescription Drug Importation
- Pricing and Payment for Medicaid Prescription Drugs
- Management and Delivery of the Medicaid Pharmacy Benefit
- Understanding the Medicaid Prescription Drug Rebate Program
- A Look at Recent Proposals to Control Drug Spending by Medicare and its Beneficiaries
- Kaiser Health News Coverage of Prescription Drug Issues
- What are the recent and forecasted trends in prescription drug spending?
- What’s the Latest on Medicare Drug Price Negotiations?
- How Will The Medicare Part D Benefit Change Under Current Law and Leading Proposals?
- Medicaid’s Prescription Drug Benefit: Key Facts
- Public Opinion on Prescription Drugs and Their Prices
- Prescription Drug Rebates, Explained
- What Are Recent Trends and Characteristics of Workers with High Drug Spending?
- Snapshots of Recent State Initiatives in Medicaid Prescription Drug Cost Control
- 10 Essential Facts About Medicare and Prescription Drug Spending
- Utilization and Spending Trends in Medicaid Outpatient Prescription Drugs
- How Does Prescription Drug Spending and Use Compare Across Large Employer Plans, Medicare Part D, and Medicaid?
This quick primer explains the similarities and differences among major proposals to lower prescription drug costs introduced by House Democrats, the Senate Finance Committee, and the Trump Administration as of December 2019.
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Most Say They Can Afford Their Prescription Drugs, But One in Four Say Paying is Difficult, Including More Than Four in Ten People Who are Sick
Large Bipartisan Majorities Support Range of Policy Changes They Believe Would Curb Drug Costs Opinion on the Affordable Care Act Remains Largely Unchanged In August About half of Americans (54%) report currently taking a prescription drug, and a large majority of them (72%) say their prescriptions are very or somewhat…
This annual Employer Health Benefits Survey (EHBS) provides a detailed look at trends in employer-sponsored health coverage, including premiums, employee contributions, cost-sharing provisions, and other relevant information. The 2015 EHBS survey finds average family health premiums rose 4 percent in 2015, relatively modest growth by historical standards.
Americans’ Views on the Affordable Care Act Hold Steady, with 43% Now Viewing It Favorably and 42% Unfavorably
Few Report Seeing Comparative Information about Health Care Prices and Quality, and Less Than 10% Use It Pocketbook and Consumer Issues Top Public’s List of Priorities for the President and Congress, Ahead of Several ACA-Related Issues This month’s Kaiser Health Tracking Poll finds public opinion on the health care law…
Implementing Coverage and Payment Initiatives: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2016 and 2017
This report provides an in-depth examination of the changes taking place in Medicaid programs across the country. The findings in this report are drawn from the 16th annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia conducted by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and Health Management Associates (HMA), in collaboration with the National Association of Medicaid Directors. This report highlights policy changes implemented in state Medicaid programs in FY 2016 and those implemented or planned for FY 2017 based on information provided by the nation’s state Medicaid directors. Key areas covered include changes in eligibility and enrollment, managed care and delivery system reforms, long-term services and supports, provider payment rates and taxes, and covered benefits (including prescription drug policies).
Medicaid is also a major provider of EpiPen and has been impacted by its increasing price. In this Data Note, we examine utilization, spending before rebates, and spending per prescription of EpiPen and other epinephrine auto-injectors before rebates in the Medicaid program.
This issue brief provides an overview of the 2017 Medicare Part D stand-alone prescription drug plan marketplace, based on analysis of data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. The brief focuses on data for 2017 and changes over time in plan availability, premiums, benefit design, cost sharing, and low-income subsidy plan availability.
Medicaid Reforms to Expand Coverage, Control Costs and Improve Care: Results from a 50-State Medicaid Budget Survey for State Fiscal Years 2015 and 2016
This report provides an in depth examination of the changes taking place in state Medicaid programs across the country. The findings in this report are drawn from the 15th annual budget survey of Medicaid officials in all 50 states and the District of Columbia conducted by the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured and Health Management Associates (HMA), with the support of the National Association of Medicaid Directors. This report highlights policy changes implemented in state Medicaid programs in FY 2015 and those planned for implementation in FY 2016 based on information provided by the nation’s state Medicaid Directors. Key areas covered include changes in eligibility and enrollment, delivery and payment system reforms, provider payment rates, and covered benefits (including prescription drug policies).
Allowing Medicare to Negotiate Drug Prices Is A Popular Idea But May Not Produce Substantial Savings
In response to rising drug costs, some policymakers and presidential candidates, including Republican Donald Trump and Democrats Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, have proposed allowing Medicare to negotiate directly with pharmaceutical companies over the price of prescription drugs, in contrast to the current approach under Medicare Part D drug where…
In this column for The Wall Street Journal’s Think Tank, Drew Altman examines the public’s mixed views about prescription drug ads and their impact on prescribing patterns, based on a new survey.