Today, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its Drug Spending Dashboards with data for 2017. This Administration's version of the drug dashboards, first released in May of last year, adds information on the manufacturers that are responsible for price increases and includes pricing and spending data for thousands more drugs across Medicare Parts B and D and Medicaid.
The dashboards focus on average spending per dosage unit for prescription drugs paid under Medicare Parts B and D and Medicaid, and track the change in average spending per dosage unit over time. Information is presented in an interactive web-based tool, so researchers and consumers can easily sort the data to identify trends.
Drugs with limited to no competition can be identified using the dashboard, by sorting for drugs with few manufacturers. Information is also provided on drug uses and clinical indications, so patients and physicians can compare the list prices of different medications for a given condition.
"Today's update to the drug dashboards continues the Trump Administration's commitment to price transparency. The dashboards pinpoint the sources of rising prescription drug prices to help guide our continued work to address this problem," said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. "From 2013-2017, prescription drug spending grew at an average annual rate of 10.6 percent in Medicare Part D, 10.0 percent in Part B, and 14.8 percent in Medicaid - this is one of our fastest areas of growth."
The dashboards complement other CMS efforts to increase transparency on drug prices, including recent proposals to require prescription drug manufacturers to include list prices in television advertisements and proposals to implement legislation signed by President Trump to end the practice of pharmacy gag clauses. Pharmacy gag clauses can prevent pharmacists from telling patients how to access prescription drugs at the lowest cost.
In 2017, total gross spending on prescription drugs was $154.9 billion in Medicare Part D, $30.4 billion in Part B, and $67.6 billion in Medicaid.
The CMS Drug Spending Dashboards can be accessed at: https://www.cms.gov/Research-Statistics-Data-and-Systems/Statistics-Trends-and-Reports/Information-on-Prescription-Drugs/index.html