Medicare ‘Overspent’ by 20% Compared With Costco Prices on Generic Drugs

Medicare spent $2.6 billion more on 184 most common generic drugs compared with Costco member prices for the same prescriptions in 2018, according to a recent research letter published in JAMA Internal Medicine. By analyzing more than 1.4 billion Part D claims, researchers estimated that Medicare spent 13.2% more in 2017 and 20.6% more in 2018 than Costco members paid for 30-day and 90-day prescription fills. In 2018, Medicare spending exceeded the Costco member price on 43.2% of all 30-day and 90-day fills of the generic drugs studied.

SOURCE: “Comparison of Spending on Common Generic Drugs by Medicare vs Costco Members,” JAMA Internal Medicine. July 6, 2021. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2021.3366.

© 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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