The Effect of Medicare Part D on Drug Utilization and Expenditures. Ann Intern Med. 2008;148:I-14. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-148-3-200802050-00201
Download citation file:
Published: Ann Intern Med. 2008;148(3):I-14.
In January 2006, the U.S. government began helping to pay for medicines taken by older people. The program, called Medicare Part D, is popular. However, it is not clear to what extent the program is saving people money or allowing them to obtain drugs they might not otherwise be able to afford.
To see what effect the new drug benefit has had on the amount that older people pay for their drugs and the number of pills they get from the pharmacy.
117,648 adults between 66 and 79 years of age who filled at least 1 prescription at Walgreens in both 2005 and 2006.
The researchers used information from the 16 months before and after the Medicare Part D program started to estimate how much money people would have spent on their medicines, and how many pills they would have received, if the program never existed. Then, to estimate the effect of the program, they compared peoples' actual expenses and pills received with the predictions of what would have happened if Part D had never existed.
Before the enrollment deadline of 30 April 2006, the program saved people who enrolled in it about $8 a month and gave them an extra 5 to 6 days of pills, on average. After the enrollment deadline, the program saved enrollees about $9 a month and gave them an extra 14 days of pills, on average. Medicare beneficiaries who did not enroll in Part D saw smaller changes in out-of-pocket expenditures and prescription use.
The information comes from only a small sample of people who used 1 pharmacy. In addition, the study does not tell us whether Medicare Part D led to any important changes in people's actual health.
Medicare Part D appears to have led to modest savings and modest increases in drug use by older people. More research is needed to see whether these effects have any influence on people's health.
The In the Clinic® slide sets are owned and copyrighted by the American College of Physicians (ACP). All text, graphics, trademarks, and other intellectual property incorporated into the slide sets remain the sole and exclusive property of the ACP. The slide sets may be used only by the person who downloads or purchases them and only for the purpose of presenting them during not-for-profit educational activities. Users may incorporate the entire slide set or selected individual slides into their own teaching presentations but may not alter the content of the slides in any way or remove the ACP copyright notice. Users may make print copies for use as hand-outs for the audience the user is personally addressing but may not otherwise reproduce or distribute the slides by any means or media, including but not limited to sending them as e-mail attachments, posting them on Internet or Intranet sites, publishing them in meeting proceedings, or making them available for sale or distribution in any unauthorized form, without the express written permission of the ACP. Unauthorized use of the In the Clinic slide sets will constitute copyright infringement.
Healthcare Delivery and Policy.
Copyright © 2016 American College of Physicians. All Rights Reserved.
Print ISSN: 0003-4819 | Online ISSN: 1539-3704
Conditions of Use
This PDF is available to Subscribers Only