February 9th, 2012
Reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review:
The use of expensive, brand-name prescription drugs — not the number of medications prescribed — is fueling regional differences in drug spending in the United States, according to a University of Pittsburgh study out Thursday.
The study suggests that taxpayers and the federal Medicare program could save about $4.5 billion a year, or 10 percent of all Medicare spending, by using less-expensive generic medications, said Julie Donohue, the study’s lead author and associate professor of health policy and management at Pitt’s Graduate School of Public Health.
“The savings can be quite substantial if we reduce that regional variation in medication choice,” Donohue said. “There’s pretty significant variation in choice of brand versus generic drug … depending on where you live.”
Find out more at the Trib.