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Drugs to treat cancer, high blood pressure, and seizures experienced large price spikes in 2015, costing taxpayers millions of dollars in added Medicare spending, according to new data released by the federal Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

The data show which drugs cost taxpayers the most money overall and pinpoint which medications experienced the biggest price increases. For the first time this year, CMS released five years of pricing information on more than 5,000 drugs.


In dumping the data, CMS Acting Administrator Andy Slavitt tweeted, “When taxpayers pay, prices should be public.”

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    • Paul, no clue about Zestril which has been generic for over a decade if I’m not mistaken– how generic manufacturers can get away with large price increases is a mystery to me unless they are such specialty drugs that they are a sole manufacturer. Antihypertensives are the opposite of specialty drugs.
      Regarding Cozaar, this went off patent about 5 years ago and this is 5 year data. It is a common strategy for a pharma company to take major price hikes in the last year of a patent. Payers know the drug is nearing patent expiration so they wait rather than resist, knowing they will control the costs of a drug in the near term. Trying to restrict a drug– especially when its one used by millions of patients and about to go off patent just doesn’t make financial sense for Payers, and the pharma companies know it.

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