May 29, 2019 News, Press Releases

CHART PACK: New Analysis Shows Lion’s Share Of Part D Spending is For a Small Percentage of Drugs

 WASHINGTON, DC — As Congress moves toward consideration of legislation to enable direct Medicare drug price negotiation, Patients For Affordable Drugs conducted an analysis to determine where the greatest savings could be achieved. The analysis, using data from CMS’ Medicare Part D Drug Spending Dashboard, shows that less than 1 percent of drugs accounts for 17 percent of spending and 3.5 percent account for nearly 60 percent of spending. In addition to the data set and analysis, P4AD today released a chart pack to highlight why Medicare negotiation should focus on the costliest drugs.

View the chart pack and analysis here.

“The data show that Congress should focus Medicare price negotiations on key drugs for the same reason that Willie Sutton robbed banks; that’s where the money is,” said Ben Wakana, Executive Director of Patients For Affordable Drugs. “The greatest savings for beneficiaries and taxpayers will be achieved by negotiating lower prices on the costliest drugs.”

The analysis used data available on the Medicare’s Part D Spending Dashboard. It looked at spending for the top 10, 25, 50 and 100 most costly drugs.

Many of the thousands of Medicare Part D drugs already have competition and low prices and negotiations are unlikely to produce significant savings.

Eighty six percent of Americans — majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and Independents — support allowing Medicare to negotiate for lower prescription drug prices. But under current law, Medicare is prohibited from negotiating directly with drug companies on behalf of taxpayers and Medicare beneficiaries.


Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.