A recent paper in the American Journal of Managed Care confirms that patients who are prescribed medications in Medicare’s “six protected classes” are consistently utilizing lower-cost generics, despite arguments from insurance companies who have said they have limited tools to contain costs for these treatments. Indeed, the authors concluded that generic dispensing rates (GDR) in the protected classes are often much higher than their non-protected counterparts — and are at least consistent with the dispensing rates among other classes of drugs. In fact, the paper suggests that plans that dispense generics at a lower rate do so to capture larger rebates from drug manufacturers, rather than to maximize access for their beneficiaries and minimize what they would pay out-of-pocket.
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