Senate Special Committee on Aging advocates increased generic utilization

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 that include:
  • 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 incentivize generics.
  • 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. (Source: See NCPIE Related: Promoting better health outcomes through improved adherence.