Jhe US government could save billions in health care dollars if it bought generic drugs at the prices offered by Mark Cuban’s new online pharmacy launched this year.
In a comparison between Medicare spending in 2020 and prices from Cuba’s Cost Plus Drug Company, researchers found that Medicare could have saved $3.6 billion, according to a new study from Brigham and Women’s Hospital and the Harvard Medical School published Monday in the journal. Annals of Internal Medicine.
Dr. Hussain Saleem Lalani, a researcher at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and lead author of the study, said the study “shows that Medicare is overpaying for some of the generic drugs.”
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“This is a conservative estimate, so the actual savings are likely higher,” Lalani added.
The study analyzed the cost of 89 generic drugs sold by Cost Plus Drug in 2022 as well as the prices paid by Medicare Part D plans in 2020. With an adjustment for price changes between 2020 and 2022, the researchers found that Medicare was paying $8.1 billion compared to Cost Plus Drug’s $4.5 billion price tag. The study noted that the savings would have applied to 77 of the 89 generic drugs.
The researchers’ analysis did not take into account out-of-pocket costs for Medicare enrollees, making it difficult to know the exact impact on pharmacy counter costs if Medicare had purchased the generic drugs at the lowest price. .
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Cuba’s Cost Plus Drug Company is selling hundreds of drugs at production cost with a 15% service charge and $3 pharmacy fee, promising up to 90% savings on prescription drugs, according to the company website.