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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Voices of Beneficiaries: Early Experiences with the Medicare Drug Benefit

The Medicare Modernization Act established a voluntary prescription drug benefit for Medicare’s elderly and disabled beneficiaries provided by private plans that is open to all beneficiaries.This paper focuses on the decision-making process and the factors that influence decisions about Medicare drug plans, as well as beneficiaries’ early experiences and future…

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Medicare Part D 2008 Data Spotlights

To better understand changes in the private plans providing drug coverage to Medicare beneficiaries under the program's Part D benefit, the Kaiser Family Foundation is issuing a series of data spotlights analyzing key elements of Medicare's private drug plans. Each spotlight will focus on a key aspect of the drug…

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Medicare Part D 2009 Data Spotlight: Ten Most Common Brand-Name Drugs

This Data Spotlight focuses on Part D plan coverage of the ten brand-name drugs that were most commonly prescribed for Medicare beneficiaries in 2006 and lack generic equivalents in 2009. Findings are based on an analysis of data for the 44 unique, national and near-national stand-alone prescription drug plans. The…

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Understanding The Effects of The Medicare Part D Coverage Gap in 2008 and 2009

This Kaiser Family Foundation study examines how the coverage gap in Medicare’s drug benefit known as the “doughnut hole” affects Medicare beneficiaries and their prescribing patterns. Based on actual claims data from 2008 and 2009, before the 2010 health reform law began to close the gap, the study finds that…

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Transitions 2006

On January 1, 2006, the six million Americans who are covered by both Medicare and Medicaid saw a change in how their prescription drugs are covered. The dual eligible population was transitioned from Medicaid into the Medicare prescription drug benefit. As a group, these beneficiaries are poorer and sicker than…

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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.

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Medicare Part D 2010 Data Spotlight: Prices for Brand-Name Drugs in the Coverage Gap

This Medicare Part D data spotlight finds prices for some commonly used brand-name drugs rising in 2010 for beneficiaries who reach the coverage gap (or “doughnut hole”), with increases since 2006 far exceeding the growth in inflation.

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Medicare and the President’s Fiscal Year 2009 Budget Proposal

Medicare and the President’s Fiscal Year 2009 Budget ProposalThis fact sheet summarizes key Medicare-related provisions in the Bush Administration’s fiscal year 2009 budget proposal, as well as additional legislation that responds to the Medicare Trustees’ “Medicare Funding Warning.” Fact Sheet (.pdf)

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Follow The Pill: Understanding the U.S. Commercial Pharmaceutical Supply Chain

The report describes the U.S. pharmaceutical supply chain, following prescription drugs as they move from manufacturers, to wholesale distributors, to pharmacies, and ultimately to patients. The report describes both the physical distribution of drugs through the chain, as well as the flow of money and the financial relationships among the…

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Papers on Issues For People With Medicare Raised By Proposed Drug Benefit Regulations

Papers on Issues For People With Medicare Raised By Proposed Drug Benefit RegulationsThe Kaiser Family Foundation has commissioned a series of papers to explore key issues that may be of concern for Medicare beneficiaries as the new Medicare drug benefit is implemented. These papers focus on specific areas of potential…

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