Switching to Immediate-Release Drugs May Save Billions

The Medicare Part D and Medicaid programs could save a significant amount of money if more patients took immediate-release (IR) medications that require two doses per day instead of extended-release (ER) versions that are taken just once a day, according to a recent study. The cross-sectional study analyzed 20 extended-release drugs with 37 Medicare formulations and 36 Medicaid formulations. Between 2012 and 2017, Medicare Part D and Medicaid could have saved a combined $13.7 billion through a switch from ER to IR formulations. “It’s not a huge difference in terms of patient convenience, but the cost difference is remarkable,” study coauthor Ambarish Pandey, M.D., of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, told Reuters.

© 2024 MMIT
Jinghong Chen

Jinghong Chen Reporter

Jinghong has been producing infographics and data stories on employer-sponsored insurance, public health insurance programs and prescription drug coverage for AIS Health’s Health Plan Weekly and Radar on Drug Benefits since 2018. She also manages AIS Health’s annual executive compensation database for top insurers and Blue Cross and Blue Shield affiliates. Before joining AIS Health, she interned at WBEZ, Al Jazeera English and The New York Times Chinese. She graduated from Missouri School of Journalism with a focus on data journalism and international reporting.

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