1/3 of Medicare Part D costs come from drugs lacking cost-effectiveness analyses

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Nearly $50 billion of Medicare Part D costs in 2016 were for drugs that did not undergo a cost-effectiveness analysis, according to a study published June 18 in JAMA Network Open.

Researchers looked at the 250 drugs with the greatest Medicare Part D spending in 2016, and found 46 percent of them did not have a cost-effectiveness analysis. Those 115 drugs with absent cost-effectiveness analyses represent 33 percent of all Medicare Part D spending. 

For the 135 drugs with available cost-effectiveness analyses, many of the studies failed to meet minimum quality standards, according to the report.

Ninety-one of the drugs included in the study had a generic equivalent, and 159 had some exclusivity.

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