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.

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Understanding the Medicaid Prescription Drug Rebate Program

Drug prices are at the center of health policy debates at both the state and federal levels. . Policymakers are currently debating significant changes to payment for prescription drugs through Medicare and commercial insurers that may also have implications for Medicaid and the Medicaid Prescription Drug Rebate Program (MDRP). This brief explains the MDRP to help policymakers and others understand how Medicaid pays for drugs and any potential consequences of policy changes for the program.

Medicare Beneficiaries Spent an Average of $5,460 Out-of-Pocket for Health Care in 2016, With Some Groups Spending Substantially More 

The average person with traditional Medicare coverage paid $5,460 out of their own pocket for health care in 2016, according to a new KFF analysis and interactive tool. This $5,460 includes about $1,000 in out-of-pocket spending for long-term care facility services, averaged across all traditional Medicare beneficiaries.  Such services are…

How Much Do Medicare Beneficiaries Spend Out of Pocket on Health Care?

This analysis presents the most current data on out-of-pocket health care spending by Medicare beneficiaries, both overall and among different groups of beneficiaries. The analysis explores how much Medicare beneficiaries spend out of pocket in total on health care premiums and health-related services, on average; how much beneficiaries spend out of pocket on different types of health-related services; and what share of income beneficiaries spend on out-of-pocket health care costs.

Assessing Drug Price Increases in Medicare Part D and the Implications of Inflation Limits

Some recent proposals to lower prescription drug costs would require drug manufacturers to pay a rebate to the federal government if their prices for drugs covered under Medicare Part B and Part D increase by more than the rate of inflation. As context for understanding these proposals, this data note analyzes changes in list prices for drugs covered by Medicare Part D in recent years compared to changes in the rate of inflation.

List Prices Increased As Much As 9 Times Faster Than Inflation for 20 of the Top 25 Part D Drugs, Suggesting Potential for Savings Under Proposed Inflation Rebate Policies

A new KFF analysis finds that the list prices for most of the top Medicare Part D drugs by total spending increased as much as nine times the rate of inflation (1.7%) between 2016 and 2017, suggesting recent Congressional proposals targeting such increases could generate savings for Medicare and Part…

Prescription Drugs

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…

What’s the Latest on Medicare Drug Price Negotiations?

In response to higher drug spending growth and heightened attention to drug prices, some policymakers have proposed allowing Medicare to negotiate the price of prescription drugs. This issue brief provides a short history of this proposal, describes several bills introduced in the 116th Congress to allow government negotiations as well as assessments of potential savings from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), and considers the prospects for action in the future.

Visualizing Health Policy: US Public’s Perspective on Prescription Drug Costs

This Visualizing Health Policy infographic examines public opinion on prescription drug costs in the United States (US). Over the past 20 years, US drug spending has increased by 330% compared to a 208% increase in total US health expenditures. A large majority (78%) of the public see drug company profits…