Health Affairs June 25, 2021
Making prescription drug prices more affordable and access to them more equitable are top bipartisan policy priorities.
Medicare Part B pays for physician-administered drugs that are used to treat some of the most serious and debilitating illnesses, including cancer and Alzheimer’s. In 2018, the Medicare program and its beneficiaries spent roughly $35 billion on drugs paid through Part B; from 2009 through 2018, Part B drug spending grew at an average annual rate of 12 percent. The program incentives are perverse: They reward physicians for prescribing the costliest drugs and offer few brakes on the prices of drugs used to treat Medicare beneficiaries.
Here, we propose four reforms that would reduce government and beneficiary spending on physician-administered outpatient drugs covered by...