Highlights from Ornstein's article, co-published with The Washington Post:
- Medicare's costs for the drugs, at least in 2014, appear to be far higher than those incurred by state Medicaid programs for the poor, which collectively spent $1.2 billion on the drugs in the first nine months of the year.
- Many Medicaid programs, as well as private insurance companies, took a more restrictive approach toward the drugs than Medicare did, often requiring that patients have advanced liver disease to be eligible to receive the pills.
- Dr. Bruce Bacon, a liver specialist at St. Louis University, will likely be ranked No. 1 for drug spending in Part D in 2014, federal data shows. He wrote 925 prescriptions for hepatitis C medications, costing $22 million. By contrast, the program's top prescriber in 2012 wrote 76,000 prescriptions that cost $10.5 million.
The full story is here: http://www.propublica.org/
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