MS Drug Costs Skyrocket After Medicare Rule Change: Study | MyMSTeam

Connect with others who understand.

sign up Log in
Resources
About MyMSTeam
Powered By
See answer

MS Drug Costs Skyrocket After Medicare Rule Change: Study

Posted on March 18, 2019

WEDNESDAY, Feb. 6, 2019 (HealthDay News) -- Medicare rule changes could trigger a spike in out-of-pocket drug costs for patients with multiple sclerosis (MS).

Due to rules that restrict access and require patients to cover more of the cost, those without low-income subsidies can expect to spend almost $6,900 a year out of pocket for MS medicines, researchers reported.

"It's a dysfunctional market that lacks the typical incentives for most other consumer products," said lead author Daniel Hartung. "Aside from the public optics, there are few incentives for companies not to raise prices. Most intermediaries in the drug distribution channel, including drug companies, benefit from higher prices."

Hartung is an associate professor at the College of Pharmacy of Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) and Oregon State University.

MS is an unpredictable disease of the central nervous system, resulting in symptoms that include vision problems, muscle weakness, tremors and difficulty with balance and coordination.

Out-of-pocket drug costs are often tied to undiscounted list prices, and there appears to be a link between rising prices for MS drugs and more use of restrictive policies by Medicare drug plans, according to the researchers.

For example, they found that patients who are prescribed the only generic drug in one class -- glatiramer acetate -- will pay more out of pocket than patients using any brand-name drugs in the same class.

Medicare rule changes last year were meant to reduce patients' out-of-pocket costs through increased discounts from brand-name drug manufacturers. But the change resulted in higher out-of-pocket costs for users of certain generic products.

"This is a pernicious effect of the release of a generic and an unfortunate effect of Medicare rules," study co-author Dr. Dennis Bourdette said in an OHSU news release. Bourdette is chairman of neurology at the OHSU School of Medicine in Portland.

A Trump administration proposal to address this incentive disparity between brand-name and generic drugs could reduce patients' total out-of-pocket spending, according to the researchers.

"Despite increases in the number and diversity of disease-modifying therapies for MS, prices have risen rapidly over the past two decades," Bourdette's team wrote. "The rise in high coinsurance cost-sharing models, coupled with escalating drug prices, means that patients will increasingly face prohibitive out-of-pocket spending."

The study appears in the February issue of the journal Health Affairs.
SOURCE: Oregon Health and Science University, news release, Feb. 4, 2019

Copyright © 2019 All rights reserved.

Have you ever NOT been able to afford your MS medications? Share in the comments below!

Posted on March 18, 2019
All updates must be accompanied by text or a picture.

We'd love to hear from you! Please share your name and email to post and read comments.

You'll also get the latest articles directly to your inbox.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Related Articles

How I Balance Life and Stress With MSLindsey Holcomb shares how she balances her life and stress...

8 Tips for Managing Stress With MS (VIDEO)

How I Balance Life and Stress With MSLindsey Holcomb shares how she balances her life and stress...
Leading multiple sclerosis (MS) experts recommend people with MS get booster vaccinations against...

MS Symptoms and COVID-19 Vaccines: Is There a Relapse Risk?

Leading multiple sclerosis (MS) experts recommend people with MS get booster vaccinations against...
Within five short years, Paige Butas went from competing in triathlons to becoming a well-known m...

From Triathlete to MS Champion: How Paige Found Her New Path

Within five short years, Paige Butas went from competing in triathlons to becoming a well-known m...
In this video, Dani explains that one of the most important lessons she’s learned since being dia...

How I Learned To Listen to My Body With MS

In this video, Dani explains that one of the most important lessons she’s learned since being dia...
Raising awareness about multiple sclerosis (MS) helps contribute to the well-being, support, and ...

MS Symbols: Ribbons, Butterflies, and Why Awareness Matters

Raising awareness about multiple sclerosis (MS) helps contribute to the well-being, support, and ...
Lea este artículo en españolWe all respond differently to information about our health. After lea...

Just Diagnosed With MS — Now What? 9 First Steps

Lea este artículo en españolWe all respond differently to information about our health. After lea...

Recent Articles

Las bebidas con cafeína son un elemento básico matutino para muchas personas en todo el mundo. La...

La cafeína y la esclerosis múltiple: ocho cosas que debe saber

Las bebidas con cafeína son un elemento básico matutino para muchas personas en todo el mundo. La...
Transcripción00:00:09:49 - 00:00:33:91Eric PeacockUn último tema aparte ahora, fuera de la espas...

¿Alguna vez se descubrirá una cura para la esclerosis múltiple? El Dr. Boster explica los avances en la investigación

Transcripción00:00:09:49 - 00:00:33:91Eric PeacockUn último tema aparte ahora, fuera de la espas...
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS),...

What Is Smoldering MS? Inflammation May Linger During Remission

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory disease that affects the central nervous system (CNS),...
There are four actions you can take now to improve your quality of life with MS until a cure is f...

Will There Ever Be a Cure for MS? Dr. Boster Explains Research Advances (VIDEO)

There are four actions you can take now to improve your quality of life with MS until a cure is f...
People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at a higher risk of weight gain.Managing a healthy weight...

Can MS Cause Weight Change? 4 Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Weight

People with multiple sclerosis (MS) are at a higher risk of weight gain.Managing a healthy weight...
Caffeinated beverages are a morning staple for many people around the world. Most types of coffee...

Caffeine and Multiple Sclerosis: 8 Things To Know

Caffeinated beverages are a morning staple for many people around the world. Most types of coffee...
MyMSTeam My multiple sclerosis Team

Thank you for subscribing!

Become a member to get even more:

sign up for free

close