Medicare Part D Payments for Topical Steroids

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Medicare Part D Payments for Topical Steroids

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Title: Medicare Part D Payments for Topical Steroids
Author: Song, Hannah; Adamson, Adewole; Mostaghimi, Arash

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Citation: Song, Hannah, Adewole Adamson, and Arash Mostaghimi. 2017. “Medicare Part D Payments for Topical Steroids.” JAMA Dermatology 153 (8) (August 1): 755. doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.1130.
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Abstract: Question What are the trends, drivers, and potential modifiers of Medicare spending on topical steroids?

Findings In this retrospective analysis of Medicare Part D claims data between 2011 and 2015, Medicare spent $2.3 billion on topical steroids; spending increased 226.5%, while prescriptions increased 37.0%. If prescribers had written for the cheapest topical steroid within the same potency class, Medicare could have saved $944.8 million.

Meaning Medicare spending on topical steroids continues to rise, largely owing to increased medication costs for generic drugs; encouraging physicians to prescribe the cheapest topical steroids within a given potency group may decrease health care expenditures without compromising patient outcomes.
Published Version: doi:10.1001/jamadermatol.2017.1130
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