[Ip-health] Harvoni & Sovaldi, Xtandi in Top 20 Costliest Medicare Drugs
cperfect at coalitionplus.org
Wed Jul 27 02:35:03 PDT 2016
In other words, the "catastrophic" costs of Harvoni are more than the
combined costs of the next on the list. That is nuts. Equally absurd is the
fact that Gilead's 2015 haul on hepatitis is roughly equivalent to 40% of
the NIH's annual budget.
As egregious as the overspending on the drugs listed as top "catastrophic"
earners may be, I still think that the billions and billions of dollars of
overspending on the me-too drug Nexium represents the best example of the
fact that our public system of reimbursement is designed to advance
industry's financial health. I know that Nexium topped the spending list in
2013; it might be interesting to compile just how much the government has
spent on Nexium since Prilosec went off patent in 2001.
And if industry-friendly analyses are going to use inflated interest rates
to pad the present value of investments in drug development, we should use
the same rates in evaluating the present value of the savings that would
result from a sensible procurement policy.
On Tue, Jul 26, 2016 at 1:39 AM, Zack Struver <zack.struver at keionline.org>
> The Associated Press recently released a chart from the Centers for
> Medicare and Medicaid Services' Office of the Actuary that outlines
> spending for the top 20 costliest drugs to Medicare in 2015 after reaching
> Medicare's catastrophic spending threshold:
> (Also available as image in link above)
> As the AP explains, catastrophic spending begins after an individual
> beneficiary meets a specific threshold ($4,850 for 2015). During
> catastrophic spending, "The beneficiary pays only 5 percent, while their
> insurer pays 15 percent, and taxpayers cover 80 percent." The AP further
> noted that "Catastrophic spending is a large and growing share of total
> costs, threatening to make Medicare's popular prescription plan financially
> unsustainable." The CMS data shows the combined spending after catastrophic
> coverage, including beneficiary, insurer, and taxpayer contributions.
> The CMS data revealed the following:
> *Total spending for the top 20 Medicare drugs reached over $20 billion last
> *Total combined spending on Harvoni and Sovaldi reached $7.5 billion, 37.4%
> of the total top 20 spend.
> *Medicare spent between 4.4 and 16.3 times more on Harvoni and Sovaldi
> combined compared to each other drug in the top 20.
> *Spending for Xtandi increased from $447 million in 2014 to $633 million in
> 2015, an increase of 41.6%.
> *Drugs with a primary indication for cancer accounted for 5 of the top 20
> drugs and $4.4 billion in spending (22.1% of total spending in the top 20).
> *Patients paid an estimated $1 billion in coinsurance for the top 20 drugs,
> on top of insurance premiums and other health care costs.
> Zack Struver, Communications and Research Associate
> Knowledge Ecology International
> zack.struver at keionline.org
> Twitter: @zstruver <https://twitter.com/zstruver>
> Office: +1 (202) 332-2670 Cell: +1 (914) 582-1428
> Ip-health mailing list
> Ip-health at lists.keionline.org
Access to Medicines Policy Officer
HIV/HCV Drug Affordability Project
Coalition Plus (Paris, France)
Skype ID: cperfect1984
Telephone: +1 919 801 3115
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