Health Law & Business

Feds Pay Three Times as Much for Drugs in Medicare Than Medicaid

Feb. 18, 2021, 9:51 PM

Brand name drugs covered by Medicare’s outpatient plans are three times more expensive on average than the same drugs covered through Medicaid, the Congressional Budget Office found in a report released Thursday.

The report highlights the massive role discounts play in the payment pipeline. Most entities don’t end up paying the base list price for a drug. What a government, employer, or individual ultimately spends boils down to how much leverage they have to reap discounts from drug companies.

Budget officials analyzed prices of 176 popular brand name drugs and found the price for a 30-day supply of medication was...

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