Tuesday, October 26, 2021
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What are the top 20 priciest Medicare prescription drugs?

🕐 1 min read

A look at Medicare’s top 20 priciest prescription drugs in 2015, ranked by their cost above the program’s “catastrophic” coverage threshold. Medicare’s catastrophic protection kicks in after a beneficiary has spent a given amount of their own money, $4,850 this year. The beneficiary pays only 5 percent, while their insurer pays 15 percent, and taxpayers cover 80 percent. Catastrophic spending is a large and growing share of total costs, threatening to make Medicare’s popular prescription plan financially unsustainable.

Drug Name Uses Cost

Harvoni Hepatitis C $6.3 billion

Revlimid Cancer $1.7 billion

Sovaldi Hepatitis C $1.2 billion

Copaxone Multiple sclerosis $1.1 billion

Gleevec Cancer $1 billion

Humira Pen Rheumatoid arthritis $886 million

Tecfidera Multiple sclerosis $724 million

Renvela Kidney disease $675 million

Xtandi Prostate Cancer $633 million

Lantus Solostar Diabetes $633 million

Zytiga Prostate cancer $623 million

Enbrel Sureclick Rheumatoid arthritis $586 million

Abilify Mental illness $555 million

Sensipar Kidney disease $533 million

Truvada HIV $525 million

Aripiprazole Mental illness $504 million

Lantus Diabetes $484 million

Imbruvica Cancer $473 million

H.P. Acthar Multiple sclerosis $467 million

Lyrica Seizures $461 million

Some medications have additional uses.

Cost above catastrophic threshold in 2015; includes spending by taxpayers, insurers and beneficiaries.

Source: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary

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