Top-10 Drugs Taken by Medicare Beneficiaries 2023
What are the top-10 drugs taken by Medicare beneficiaries? Seniors with Medicare account for a significant share of all drug spending in the U.S The 2023 total is expected to reach $370 billion, an increase from $359 billion in 2020. Here are some 2023 prescription drug facts, the top-10 drugs and ways to reduce the cost of drug coverage.
Facts About Medicare Drug Spending
According to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), U.S. prescription drug expenditures totaled $370 billion in 2019.
Spending through Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) programs accounted for 41 percent ($151 billion) of this total. These programs include Medicaid (the poverty program), Medicare Part B (largely for physician-administered drugs), and Medicare Part D (for most outpatient drugs).
In 2020, Medicare spent the most on Eliquis. More than 2.6 million Medicare Part D enrollees took the blood thinner. The cost was nearly $10 billion.
Ways To Reduce Prescription Drug Plan Costs
Here are 3 ways to reduce your cost for prescription drugs.
1 – Consider a Medicare Advantage (Part C) plan that includes prescription drug coverage. These plans have pros and cons.
Plan costs and providers, benefits will vary based on where you live. You could have 40 different plans available. That’s why we strongly recommend speaking to a local Medicare Advantage agent. You can use our free Zip Code directory to find one in your area.
2 – Shop for the best Medicare drug plan based on the specific drugs you take. The Association provides access to a free tool that you can use (without entering your personal info). You enter your Zip Code. Then enter the drugs you take. Up will come the best plan for your area.
3. Use GoodRx or other discount drug plan code. Even with the bestMedicare drug plan, it can pay to check the GoodRx plan price. Top pharmacies today from CVS to Costco will accept. It always pays to compare even when you have great Medicare Plan D coverage.
Top-10 Drugs Taken By Medicare Beneficiaries
Here is the latest look at the 10 drugs Medicare spent the most money on. Some spending data is for 2020. Price increases represent January 2022 increase over the prior year (2012). Data culled from various CMS Medicare department reports.
Used as a blood thinner for people with atrial fibrillation. In 2022, the manufacturer’s (Bristol-Myers Squibb) website listed the price of Eliquis as $522 for a 30-day supply without insurance.
Patients who have prescription insurance through Medicare pay $37 on average for Eliquis, according to the manufacturer of Eliquis.
2020 Medicare spending: $9.9 billion
Number of beneficiaries: 2,641,941
Price increase: 6 percent (2022 over 2021)
Number two of the drugs taken by Medicare beneficiaries. Used as part of cancer treatment usage. Medicare beneficiaries face wide variation in spending for specialty drugs across Part D plans, according to a new analysis.
The average annual out-of-pocket cost for chemotherapy drug Revlimid was $17,142, according to a report from Good Rx.
The minimum price paid was $2,818, and the maximum out-of-pocket for Revlimid was $20,0152, for a difference of nearly $18,000, according to their analysis.
2020 Medicare spending: $5.4 billion
Price increase: 4.5 percent (2022 over 2021)
Use as a blood thinner for people with atrial fibrillation. Without insurance, the cash price of Xarelto in 2022 was anywhere from $400-500 for a 30-day supply.
Patients who have prescription insurance through Medicare pay between $2-18 on average for Xarelto. The amount an individual pays for Xarelto depends on various factors such as: Medicare coverage type.
2020 Medicare spending: $4.7 billion
2022 price increase: 4.9 percent
Used as part of diabetes treatment. The average cost of this medication for Medicare members ranges from $75 to $175 per month for a supply of 30 tablets. The retail cost of this amount of Januvia exceeds $450 per month.
2020 Medicare spending: $3.9 billion
Price increase: 5 percent (2022 vs. 2021)
Used as part of diabetes treatment. In 2022, the manufacturer’s (Lilly) website states that the list price of Trulicity is $886.36 per month without insurance. Around 70% of people who have prescription insurance through Medicare pay between $0-100 per month, and the remaining people pay an average of $207 per month, according to Lilly. The manufacturer also states that some people with Medicare who qualify for Extra Help will expect to pay $4 to $9 for each Trulicity prescription.
2020 Medicare spending: $3.3 billion
2022 price increase: 5 percent
Used as part of cancer treatment. Imbruvica costs $484 per capsule/tablet regardless of the strength (70mg, 140mg, 280mg, 420mg, 560mg). This works out to $13,546 for a supply of 28 tablets/capsules.
Most people will not have to pay this much because most insurance plans and Medicare cover the cost of this medicine. 99% of Medicare Part D and Medicare Advantage plans covering this drug.
2020 Medicare spending: $3 billion
2022 price increase: 7.4 percent
Prescribed as part of diabetes treatment. For patients with Medicare Part D coverage, about 63% of patients will pay between $0–$50 a month according to the company. The remaining 37% averaging about $161 a month.
2020 Medicare spending: $2.4 billion
2022 price increase: 4 percent
#8. Humira (Cf) pen
Prescribed to treat rheumatoid arthritis or as a plaque psoriasis treatment. Humira costs about $7,389 for a month’s supply of Humira.
2020 Medicare spending: $2.2 billion
2022 price increase: 7.4 percent
Used as part of cancer treatment. The cash price for is around $13,000 to $13,500 for a supply of 21 capsules. This was reported by the manufacturer providing use of an online coupon. As of March 2019, Ibrance is covered by 100% of Medicare Part D plans.
2020 Medicare spending: $2.1 billion
2022 price increase: 6.9 percent
Prescribed as part of asthma treatment. The list price for a 30-day supply of Symbicort is $303.42* (80/4.5 mcg) and $346.83* (160/4.5 mcg). For people with Medicare Part D coverage, the average out-of-pocket cost is $31.03 per month.
2020 Medicare spending: $2 billion
2022 price increase: 2 percent
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