Besides the obvious – access to cheap generic alternatives for once exorbitantly priced prescriptions – this year’s patent expirations on blockbuster brand-name drugs means even more good news for American consumers. A U.S. News and World Report article suggests the Patent Cliff as one of the reasons for the forecasted Medicare savings. Access to low-cost generics on popular drugs like Lipitor cuts spending significantly for plan sponsors, and U.S. officials have announced that enrollees paying for prescription drugs through Medicare Part D will not see an increase in premiums, in contrast with prior years. Rather, the yearly fees will decrease slightly – from an average of $30.76 in 2011 to $30.00 in 2012. All current plan premiums can be found on MedicareDrugPlans.com – Compare Costs and Features.
Moreover, plan enrollees are now receiving a 50% discount on brand name drugs purchased through the coverage gap. However, brand name drug prices continue to increase, which means the discount’s importance is less pronounced. (more…)Tagged with: brand name drugs, compare costs, consumers, customer service, discount, generics, Medicare Drug Plans, Part D, Patent Cliff, U.S. News and World Report, United States