Tuesday, April 05, 2022

Medicare beneficiaries without low-income subsidies were less likely to fill important prescriptions, new study finds



 News Release 4-Apr-2022
Peer-Reviewed Publication
Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Medicare Part D beneficiaries who did not receive federal subsidies to lower their out-of-pocket costs were nearly twice as likely as others to not fill prescriptions for serious health conditions like cancer or hepatitis C treatment, according to a new study from Vanderbilt University Medical Center researchers.


The authors found that among patients without subsidies, 30% did not fill their prescribed cancer treatments. Twenty-two percent of patients without subsidies did not fill curative treatments for hepatitis C, and more than 50% did not fill disease-modifying therapies for immune disorders.

“Overall, we found that a very large percentage of Medicare beneficiaries who are prescribed a new and expensive drug for treating conditions like cancer, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, and hepatitis C are not filling these drugs,” Dusetzina said. “The rate of not filling is nearly twice as high for beneficiaries who lack subsidies, which is the case for most Medicare beneficiaries. These beneficiaries face very high costs when starting a drug and unlimited out-of-pocket spending over the year.”


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