Medicare overpaid for prescription drugs with generic versions

Medicare overpaid by millions for a cancer drug sold by Pfizer earlier this year because there was a delay in the agency updating its pricing formula, according to a new report from the HHS Office of the Inspector General. While a generic version of the drug, branded as Campostar, went on the market on February 20, it took Medicare two months to integrate new generic pricing into the agency's payment system. This meant that in March, Medicare was paying $126 per dose of the generic, irinotecan, rather than the average generic price of $41. The OIG's report suggested that Medicare come up with a way to address pricing changes resulting from the release of new generics far more quickly.

To learn more about the investigation:
- read this Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report piece
- read this HHS OIG report (.pdf)

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