US Senate Judiciary Chairman Questions High Cost Of Medicare Drug Coverage 27/07/2016 by Intellectual Property Watch 2 Comments Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)United States Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Charles Grassley, an Iowa Republican, has demanded answers from the government Medicare programme regarding the rapid rise in costs of coverage of Americans’ prescription drugs. The demand follows a press report showing an extremely high climb in costs for the so-called “catastrophic coverage” program. “This program is an important part of the healthcare of many Americans, but has recently seen an alarming trend in spending growth, resulting in much higher expenditures for the government, and by extension, the taxpayers, who pay 80 percent of the costs,” Grassley wrote. Specifically, he said, information provided to the Associated Press by the Office of the Actuary show an 85 percent increase in Medicare’s catastrophic spending from 2013 to 2015, from$27.7 billion to $51.3 billion. He cited particular drugs for their “exponential increase.” Harvoni and Sovaldi rose from $3.5 billion in 2014 to nearly $7.5 billion in 2015. And Gleevec rose to $1 billion in 2015, a 54% increase from 2013. The program is designed to help cover costs for citizens who have paid nearly $5,000 out of their pockets for prescription drugs and continue to need treatment for chronic conditions that will add up to cumulatively high expenses over time. Grassley’s office demanded answers by 9 August on what factors are contributing to the “drastic” increase, whether the catastrophic benefit can be exploited as currently framed, and what steps the Obama administration is taking to eliminate or lessen the “explosive costs” or possible exploitation. Sen. Grassley’s 26 July letter to Medicare Acting Administrator Andrew Slavitt is available here [pdf]. The AP story is available here. Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Related "US Senate Judiciary Chairman Questions High Cost Of Medicare Drug Coverage" by Intellectual Property Watch is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.