Medicare-approved drug discount cards and prescription drug prices

Marie Chisholm-Burns, Jeanie Chinaye Turner, Joseph T. DiPiro

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose. Prescription drug prices with and without the use of Medicare-approved drug discount card programs (MADDCs) to purchase medications were studied. Methods. The Medicare.gov Web site was used to determine if the 200 most frequently prescribed drugs in the United States in 2003 were covered by a MADDC. The lowest and highest MADDC prices at local and mail-order pharmacies and the corresponding non-MADDC prices at the same community pharmacies or an Internet pharmacy, respectively, were determined. Wilcoxon signed rank tests were used to determine if there was a difference between non-MADDC medication prices and MADDC prices. Results. Of the top 200 medications prescribed in 2003, 192 (96%) and 189 (94.5%) were covered by at least one MADDC in a local pharmacy or mail-order pharmacy, respectively. Overall, MADDCs saved money compared with purchasing medications without a MADDC (p < 0.001). However, a MADDC resulted in a higher price than the retail non-MADDC price for 61 (31.8%) of the prescription medications at local pharmacies, and using a MADDC at a mail-order pharmacy resulted in a higher price than the Internet pharmacy non-MADDC price for 143 (75.7%) of the drugs. Conclusion. MADDC prices for common prescription medications were generally lower than prices when MADDCs were not used. The highest mail-order MADDC prices were often higher than Internet non-MADDC prices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1482-1487
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Volume62
Issue number14
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 15 2005

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Prescription Drugs
Medicare
Pharmaceutical Preparations
Postal Service
Pharmacies
Internet
Prescriptions

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Health Policy

Cite this

Medicare-approved drug discount cards and prescription drug prices. / Chisholm-Burns, Marie; Turner, Jeanie Chinaye; DiPiro, Joseph T.

In: American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy, Vol. 62, No. 14, 15.07.2005, p. 1482-1487.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Chisholm-Burns, Marie ; Turner, Jeanie Chinaye ; DiPiro, Joseph T. / Medicare-approved drug discount cards and prescription drug prices. In: American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy. 2005 ; Vol. 62, No. 14. pp. 1482-1487.
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