Navigation Links
Medicare beneficiaries substantially more likely to use brand-name drugs than VA patients
Date:6/11/2013

PITTSBURGH, June 10, 2013 Medicare beneficiaries with diabetes are two to three times more likely to use expensive brand-name drugs than a comparable group of patients treated within the VA Healthcare System, according to a nationwide study by researchers from the University of Pittsburgh, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System and Dartmouth College.

Spending in Medicare Part D would have been an estimated $1.4 billion less in 2008 if brand-name and generic drug use matched that of the VA for the medications studied. The report, the first large-scale comparison of prescription drug use between Medicare Part D and the VA, is online and will be published in the print edition of the Annals of Internal Medicine on July 16.

"Our study shows that we can make a big dent in Medicare spending simply by changing the kinds of medications people are using and physicians are prescribing without worrying about whether the government should or should not negotiate drug prices," said lead author Walid Gellad, M.D., M.P.H., an assistant professor in the Pitt Graduate School of Public Health's Department of Health Policy and Management and Pitt's School of Medicine. "The levels of generic use found in the VA are attainable, and they are compatible with high quality care."

The study was jointly funded by the VA, National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Dr. Gellad and his colleagues analyzed 2008 data for over 1 million Medicare beneficiaries and 500,000 veterans to compare prescription use between Medicare and the VA, focusing on diabetes, cholesterol and blood pressure medications.

Medicare and the VA have a significantly different approach to drug prescribing. Medicare contracts with more than 1,000 private insurance companies, each using a distinct formulary and cost-sharing arrangement for prescribing drugs. The VA uses a single formulary and all veterans have the same cost-sharing arrangement.

Brand-name drugs cost considerably more than generic medications because the distributors of generics generally are not paying the cost of drug development, brand protection and marketing. In a chronic condition like diabetes, there is a broad range of available therapies with widely diverging costs, some of which can be lessened by using a generic medication rather than its brand-name counterpart.

Of the four medication groups commonly used by patients with diabetes, the researchers found that Medicare beneficiaries were more than twice as likely as VA patients to use brand-name drugs in almost every region of the country.

"We're not suggesting that Medicare turn into a VA system, nor do we believe that brand-name drugs have no role in improving health," said Dr. Gellad, also a primary care physician. "This study is about how we can manage our limited resources while maintaining high quality care. The VA shows us that it can be done for prescription drugs. Going forward, we need to understand whether these differences in prescription use have changed, if at all, from 2008 to present."


'/>"/>

Contact: Cyndy McGrath
mcgrathc3@upmc.edu
412-647-9975
University of Pittsburgh Schools of the Health Sciences
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Parker Waichman LLC Applauds Seniors for their Role in Helping to Recover $14.9 billion in Medicare Fraud over the Past Four Years
2. Skipping Meds May Raise Odds of ER Visits for Certain Medicare Patients
3. June 6 Webinar Offers Winning Medicare Advantage Go-to-Market Strategies for 2014
4. Vein Specialties Now Accepting Medicare Patients
5. Private insurers Medicare Advantage plans cost Medicare an extra $34.1 billion in 2012
6. Government Data on Extreme Medicare Health Care Price Discrepancies Only Part of the Picture for Most Americans
7. Proposed Medicare Essential plan estimated to save $180 billion over 10 years
8. Aeroflow Healthcare, Inc. Wins 456 Medicare Competitive Bids; Now Looking at Subcontractors
9. Hospitals measure up for Medicare reimbursement
10. 1 in 4 colonoscopies in Medicare patients found to be potentially inappropriate
11. Medicare Spending Not Linked to Longer Cancer Survival
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/28/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Christie Medical Holdings, Inc. , with its market-leading ... Medical Inc. , a leader in infusion therapy and pain management. , Intravenous ... percent of hospital patients receiving a peripheral IV catheter as part of their treatment ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... April 27, 2017 , ... Thinksport, the ... heels of Thinksport’s award-winning sunscreen they’ve used the same scientific approach to solving ... Countless deodorants flood the aisles that contain harmful chemicals that should be put ...
(Date:4/27/2017)... ... , ... Goodcents Deli Fresh Subs announced a franchise expansion agreement today including ... , The first new location will open at the corner of 27th and Randolph ... Lights Drive this fall. And the third location is in the process of being ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... 2017 , ... Jump Technologies, Inc., an innovative software company ... a round of funding to accelerate its growth strategies. The $3.5 million investment ... a growth equity firm focused on investments in healthcare and technology companies. This ...
(Date:4/26/2017)... ... April 26, 2017 , ... ... the adoption of e-prescribing as measured in Part D Medicare data. The dataset, ... to pharmacies, either using e-prescribing, faxes or paper. The PaPR (pronounced "paper") ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:4/20/2017)... -- Vivify Health, the pioneer and market leader of remote ... significant patent for the advancement of healthcare delivery from ... health.  This landmark patent provides the company with broad ... position as the leader in remote care.  ... to apply consumer mobile devices, wireless biometrics, EMR integration ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... , April 20, 2017 ... "Global Biosimilar Pipeline and Market Prospects: Addressing Production ... report to their offering. ... "Global Biosimilar Pipeline and Market Prospects: ... Design" provides an in-depth assessment of the current trends ...
(Date:4/20/2017)... DUBLIN , April 20, 2017 Research ... Delivery Technologies - Innovation Driven by Rapidly Expanding Injectables Market and ... to their offering. ... market for drug delivery technologies will rise from USD 20 Billion ... Global Drug Delivery Technologies - Innovation Driven by Rapidly ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: