A Health Podyssey
A Health Podyssey
Apr 12, 2022
Stacie Dusetzina Shares Why Medicare Beneficiaries May Not Fill Specialty Drug Prescriptions
Play • 32 min

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This episode is sponsored by the Rural Health Research Gateway at the University of North Dakota.

The United States is facing a drug affordability crisis. 


Even as we celebrate scientific discovery, the health benefits of drugs are limited due to barriers of affordability, often even for people with health insurance. The RAND Corporation reports that on average drug prices in the United States are more than two and a half times those in 32 other nations studied. The disparities are even wider when we focus just on brand name drugs.


Drug pricing is the subject of seemingly perennial debates. One side focuses on access barriers due to high prices while the other side argues that lower prices threaten future innovation. 


Stacie Dusetzina from Vanderbilt University Medical Center joins A Health Podyssey to talk about the complex world of drug pricing.


She and colleagues published a paper in the April 2022 issue of Health Affairs examining the degree to which people with Medicare prescription drug benefits use the drugs that are prescribed to them.


In the paper, the authors found non-initiation rates among some beneficiaries of greater than 50 percent for certain treatments.

If you enjoy this interview, order the April 2022 Health Affairs issue to get research on access to care, hospitals and more.

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