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Medicare patients paid 4 times as much as their drug plans for certain medicines, study finds

Medicare enrollees are paying far more than their prescription-drug plans for dozens of drugs covered under Medicare Part D, according to a new study from the U.S. Government Accountability Office.


For 79 drugs studied by the GAO, Medicare patients’ 2021 spending totaled $21 billion — roughly quadruple the amount that Part D plans spent on those drugs, after accounting for “rebates,” or discounts that drugmakers often pay to Part D plan sponsors or the prescription-drug middlemen known as pharmacy-benefit managers.


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