Prices for Costliest Drugs Rose as Usage Declined, Study Shows

July 11, 2018

Prices for the 10 costliest drugs in Medicare Part D rose by almost one-third between 2011 and 2015, according to a study published July 4 in the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.

As prices went up one-third, the number of people using the drugs declined by one-third.

For the study, researchers reviewed the latest publicly available utilization data for Medicare Part D from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS).

Between 2011 and 2015, the cost of the 10 medications increased 32 percent, from $21.5 billion to $28.4 billion. Usage of these drugs decreased 32 percent during the same period, from 12.9 million to 8.8 million.

The authors projected that at this pace the 10 most-expensive drugs will cost $40 billion annually by the end of 2020.

View the study.