The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) updated its Drug Spending Dashboards with data for 2017. The Trump 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.
CMS Administrator Seema Verma said, 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. 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 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.
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.