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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Millions of Medicare Part D Enrollees Have Had Out-of-Pocket Drug Spending Above the Catastrophic Threshold Over Time

Medicare Part D, the outpatient prescription drug benefit for Medicare beneficiaries, provides catastrophic coverage for high out-of-pocket drug costs, but there is no limit on the total amount that beneficiaries have to pay out of pocket each year. Policymakers on both sides of the aisle support proposals to modify the design of the Part D benefit and establish a hard cap on out-of-pocket prescription drug spending by Part D enrollees. This analysis shows the number of Part D enrollees without low-income subsidies who have exceeded the catastrophic coverage threshold annually, and over multiple years, based on 2007-2019 Part D claims data.

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How Might the FDA’s Approval of a New Alzheimer’s Drug Impact Medicaid?

The brief examines the potential impact of Aduhelm, a newly approved drug for Alzheimer’s disease, on state and federal Medicaid costs and looks at potential policy actions that could limit Medicaid’s potential costs.

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Why Drug Price Negotiation Has Staying Power

In this Axios column, Drew Altman looks beyond Medicare to what’s at stake for employers and workers in the debate about the government negotiating drug prices.

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Costs and Savings under Federal Policy Approaches to Address Medicaid Prescription Drug Spending

This brief analyzes leading federal approaches to address Medicaid prescription drug spending, discusses (where available) a range of cost estimates for each policy, and assesses what drives those estimates or where there is uncertainty in them.

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FDA’s Approval of Biogen’s New Alzheimer’s Drug Has Huge Cost Implications for Medicare and Beneficiaries

The question of what would happen when a new, expensive prescription drug comes to market for a disease like Alzheimer’s that afflicts millions of people has loomed large in discussions over drug prices in the U.S. This brief analyzes the cost implications for Medicare and beneficiaries associated with Biogen’s new FDA-approved Alzheimer’s drug, which will cost $56,000 per year.

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Utilization and Spending Trends in Medicaid Outpatient Prescription Drugs, 2015-2019

Prescription drug spending in Medicaid and other health programs has returned to the national policy debate. This analysis examines Medicaid outpatient prescription drug utilization and spending before rebates over the 2015 to 2019 period, which is helpful for understanding recent cost drivers and areas for targeted policy action.

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Key Facts About Medicare Part D Enrollment, Premiums, and Cost Sharing in 2021

The Medicare Part D program provides an outpatient prescription drug benefit to older adults and people with long-term disabilities in Medicare who enroll in private plans, including stand-alone drug plans and Medicare Advantage drug plans. This analysis provides the latest data about Part D enrollment, premiums, and cost sharing in 2021 and trends over time.

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Two-Thirds of the Public Say the U.S. Should Play a Major Role in Distributing COVID-19 Vaccines Globally, But Not Most Republicans

With increased attention to the global need for COVID-19 vaccines and the Biden administration’s announcement today about how it plans to distribute the first portion of the 80 million doses it will share by the end of this month, the latest KFF Health Tracking Poll finds that two-thirds of the…

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KFF Health Tracking Poll – May 2021: Prescription Drug Prices Top Public’s Health Care Priorities

The latest KFF Health Tracking Poll explores the public’s views on the U.S. role in distributing COVID vaccines to other countries, health care priorities for Congress, prescription drug regulations and price negotiations, and affordability changes in the COVID-19 relief bill.

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How Might Current Federal Drug Pricing Proposals Impact Medicaid?

Although attention in current federal actions is largely focused on Medicare and private insurance drug prices, federal legislation also has been recently introduced or enacted that would affect Medicaid prescription drug policy.

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