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Friday, November 18, 2016

A Growing Group Of Doctors Are Big-Money Prescribers In Medicare

The number of doctors who each prescribe millions of dollars of medications annually in Medicare's drug program has soared, driven by expensive hepatitis C treatments and rising drug prices overall, federal data obtained by ProPublica show.

The number of providers who topped the $5 million mark for prescriptions increased more than tenfold, from 41 in 2011 to 514 in 2015. The number of prescribers — mostly physicians but also nurse practitioners — exceeding $10 million in drug costs jumped from two to 70 over the same time period, according to the data.

Most of the doctors atop the spending list prescribed Harvoni or Sovaldi, relatively new drugs that cure hepatitis C. Other providers on the list prescribed pricey drugs to treat cancer, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis.

Medicare's drug program, known as Part D, covers more than 41 million seniors and disabled people. In 2015, it accounted for $137.4 billion in drug spending, before factoring in rebates from drug companies. That was up from $121.5 billion a year earlier.

"The trends in this space are troubling and don't show any signs of abating," said Tim Gronniger, deputy chief of staff at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the federal agency that runs Medicare. "It's going to be a pressure point for patients and the program for the foreseeable future."

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5 comments:

Anonymous said...

FOLLOW THE MONEY.

There are 'incentives' offered by the drug companies to the doctors.

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:18 - Really. Prove it. You can't because your accusation is 100% false. Pharmaceutical companies do not offer any more than a Panera Sandwich to physicians should they request time to discuss the benefits of their product. In fact, all pharmaceutical companies are required based on the "Sunshine Act" to make public any and all monies spent on lobbying physicians about their product. It has been more than a decade since any pharmaceutical representative has offered more than a pickle and bag of chips to discuss their product over lunch.

Anonymous said...

@11:04 REALLY??? Do you really want to go there?? Just a while back a local heart surgeon was exposed and reported that he received in excess of 100,000/yr extra just to do speaking engagements to promote said companies products. The doctors today are NO better than the street level drug dealers, in my opinion their actually worse they prey on the elderly and defraud insurance out of millions annually

Anonymous said...

@11:04 REALLY??? Do you really want to go there?? Just a while back a local heart surgeon was exposed and reported that he received in excess of 100,000/yr extra just to do speaking engagements to promote said companies products. The doctors today are NO better than the street level drug dealers, in my opinion their actually worse they prey on the elderly and defraud insurance out of millions annually

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I want to go there you POS. Site one example, for which you likely have your facts wrong, and lump all physicians in one basket. Lets see who you come crawling to next time you are sick and need medical care.