The US Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) are utilizing transparency to mention some of the steepest price spikes that are charging Medicare and Medicaid the most as the increasing prices of pharmaceuticals sustain to hurt the pockets of Americans.
CMS’ acting administrator Andy Slavitt, chief data officer Niall Brennan and deputy chief of staff Tim Gronniger on the day of Monday declared an update to an interactive tool tracking the cost of drugs purchased for Medicare beneficiaries in case to give a better sense of “the frequency and pervasiveness of these increases”.
Additionally, CMS issued another dashboard with information on drugs purchased for Medicaid beneficiaries, which totaled $57 billion in spending in the year of 2015. CMS further added some high-level information on rebates given by drug manufacturers to offset few of the high drug costs in Medicare.
Medicaid observed its spending rise by 300 percent or more for at least 6 different drugs despite of congressional hearings previously this year targeting and shaming drug agencies for exorbitant cost increases.
One of those significant increases came from Valeant Pharmaceuticals, a company that had to defend itself before Congress in the month of May due to its price increases. The charges of Valeant’s Ativan (lorazepam) increased from an average cost each unit of less than $40 to more than $200 between the years of 2014 and 2015.
The complete spending of CMS for another Valeant drug, known as Glumetza (metformin HCl) increased by 829 percent between 2014 and 2015. CMS sustains to pay hefty sums for merely a small handful of pharmaceuticals.
“The five Medicare Part D drugs with greatest total drug spending each accounted for more than $2 billion in gross spending in Part D in the year of 2015. The five drugs with the largest total Medicare Part B spending in the year of 2015 are the same as 2014 and combined they totaled more than $7 billion in spending,” Slavitt, Brennan and Gronniger write.