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If rebates had been required for price hikes on most of the nearly 100 medicines covered by Medicare during a recent three-year period, the U.S. government program would have saved $3.7 billion, or 3% of the total spending on so-called Part B medicines, a new analysis found.

More specifically, 70 of the 93 top-selling drugs covered by the Medicare Part B program – which are typically pricier medicines that are administered by physicians or in hospitals – between 2018 and 2020 would have been subject to inflationary rebates each year, according to the analysis published in JAMA. Most of these medicines were used to treat different forms of cancer and immune system disorders.


As a result, the researchers contend that a newly passed law called the Inflation Reduction Act, which will allow Medicare to negotiate price for certain drugs, could not only have saved U.S. taxpayers billions of dollars if the mechanism had been in place previously, but should also have a beneficial effect on drug costs in the future.

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