“Surprisingly, expensive specialty medications aren’t the only problem”
“Total U.S. spending on prescription drugs by individuals, insurers and governments jumped 13 percent last year – the largest increase since 2001. One in four Americans report having difficulty paying for medications.
“Older Americans are somewhat shielded from the full impact of rising drug prices by Medicare’s Part D program, which greatly expanded their coverage. Since Part D’s implementation in 2006, seniors’ average out-of-pocket spending on medications has actually declined, from $708 to $564 annually in 2012.
“But a recent trend of price spikes for specialty drugs might be a snake in the grass for seniors on fixed incomes. Since most take multiple prescriptions, they face greater odds of needing at least one of these expensive medicines.”