Medicaid expansion and prescription drug use

How did Medicaid expansion affect prescription drug use? At first glance, one would think that prescriptions increased; more insurance lowers patient out-of-pocket cost so we would expect more prescriptions. Medicaid insurance may crowd out other forms of insurance; if those other forms of insurance covered more drugs, then perhaps utilization would go down. A study…

Congress grills pharma executives

Seven CEOs from large pharmaceutical firms were brought before Congress today. And they got an earful from both Demogratic and Republican Congressmen. The executives were critique for selling too many opioids. They were critiqued for legal manuevers to extend brand name drugs’ patent life. But most of all, they were critiqued for high drug prices.…

Competition matters

While the high price of branded drugs often gets a lot of attention in the public, few realize that after patent expiration, prices often plunge dramatically and high quality treatments are available for extremely affordable prices.  Granlund and Bergman (2018) estimate the size of this price reduction using data from Sweden. In the long term,…

340B Facts and Figures

The 340B program requires pharmaceutical firms to give large discounts to hospitals and clinics that serve high volumes of low-income patients.  This sounds like a good idea at first: give money to people who can’t afford their medicines.  However, when one reads the sentence above closely, it becomes clear that patients don’t receive these discounts:…