Generic drug prices drop: 4 notes

The latest round of pricing changes for generic medications could save Medicaid $126 million annually, according to data analyzed by 46brooklyn research.

Each month, 46brooklyn research releases a report discussing trends in generic drug pricing. For its report, the firm uses a survey conducted on the behalf of CMS. 46brooklyn research used survey results that reflect national average drug acquisition cost price changes from December. The report refers to pricing changes in December as its "January update."

Four notes:

1. For every generic drug price that went down, only 0.79 generic drugs experienced a price increase. This compares to last month's survey, which saw 1.14 generic drug increases for every one generic drug decrease.

2. There were 17 percent more generic drugs that had a zero percent to 10 percent decrease, and 22 percent generic drugs that had a price decrease of more than 10 percent in comparison to last month's survey.

3. There were 14 percent fewer drugs with a zero percent to 10 percent price hike. There were 32 percent fewer drugs that saw a price hike of more than 10 percent.

4. To determine how much Medicaid would save because of the price drops, 46brooklyn research needed to identify drug utilization trends. To determine how often each drug was used, the firm used Medicaid's first half of 2018 case mix. After completing the math, the latest round of price changes was worth $126 million.

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