The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging unveiled a new bipartisan report earlier this week that
focuses on ways to increase the use of generic drugs within the Medicare Part D program. The
committee is calling on the Government Accountability Office to examine what is behind recent price
increases for certain generic drugs like heart medication digoxin, which has been on the market for
years. The issue of generic drug price spikes has recently attracted attention from the Justice
Department and the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions Subcommittee on Primary
Health and Aging.
Specifically, the Special Committee on Aging’s report outlines a series of policy recommendations
Providing incentives to prescription drug plan sponsors who increase generics use;
Finding innovative ways to expand generic drug usage among low-income subsidy beneficiaries;
Increasing education of beneficiaries and health professionals on the safety, effectiveness and
cost benefits of generic medications
Improving investigations of questionable pharmacy billing practices that thwart efforts to
The committee’s findings were part of a comprehensive two-year review that analyzed drug plan
formularies, pharmacy billing, physician prescribing practices and plan sponsor programs to
incentivize generics use.
See NCPIE Related: Promoting better health
outcomes through improved adherence.