Health Affairs journal features NACDS/PhRMA research on prescription utilization and Medicaid costs

An article in the medical journal Health Affairs this month cited research on the positive impact of reducing the cost of prescription drugs and other medical costs from the NACDS/PhRMA.

The research found that when prescription drugs are taken appropriately as prescribed by a physician, there is a reduction in other medical costs for certain Medicaid populations. The article was co-authored by Laura Miller, NACDS senior economist, J. Samantha Dougherty, senior director for policy and research at Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, and Robert Kaestner, professor of economics at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Utilizing data on more than 1.5 million Medicaid enrollees to examine the impact of changes in prescription drug use on medical costs, the research found a one percent increase in overall prescription drug use was associated with decreases in non-prescription drug medical costs for three distinct groups of Medicaid beneficiaries.

These findings further reinforce an estimate by the Congressional Budget Office that, for the Medicare population, a one percent increase in prescription utilization was associated with a one-fifth of one percent decrease in medical expenditures.
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