Medicare Part D’s Effect on Evergreening, Generics & Drug Prices

Medicare Part D’s Effect on Evergreening, Generics & Drug Prices

The brief’s key findings are: Medicare Part D, introduced in 2006, has clearly helped seniors by expanding drug coverage, but a key question is how it has affected the cost of drugs. By boosting demand and shifting market power from manufacturers to insurers, Part D could affect the behavior of both brand-name and generic drug producers. Brand-name firms could be more likely to maintain monopoly power by making small changes to their drugs (“evergreening”); and Generic firms – with no such leverage – might be less likely to introduce alternatives due to a greater loss of bargaining power to insurers. The analysis finds that Part D has, indeed, increased evergreening and reduced generic entry, and both effects have put some upward pressure on drug prices. Overall, though, Part D has kept drug prices lower than they otherwise would have been.

Geoffery Sanzenbacher and Gal Wettstein

Center for Retirement Research at Boston College

September 2019

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By |2019-09-30T09:17:45-07:00January 1st, 2018|High Healthcare Prices, Intellectual Property, Patents, Reference|