Medicare's spending on 'ultra-expensive' drugs increased by 1,170% in 6 years

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As more drugs enter the market with five-figure annual list prices, a large share of Medicare's drug spending is going toward these "ultra-expensive" treatments, according to research published June 7 in Health Affairs.

The study found that Medicare Part D’s share of annual spending on ultra-expensive drugs increased by 1,170 percent between 2012 and 2018, largely because more beneficiaries were prescribed such drugs during this time period.

The researchers said their findings underscore a national conversation about ultra-expensive drug's sustainability and affordability. 

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