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Does This Drive You Crazy, Or What?

Thursday, January 14, 2016

Abilify, duloxetine rank on Medicare cost list

Julie Miller, Editor in Chief, Behavioral Care

Two of the top 15 most costly drugs for Medicare in 2014, according to newly released data, were Abilify (aripiprazole), which is an antipsychotic, and generic Cymbalta (duloxetine HCI), which is typically used as an antidepressant or anti-anxiety drug…

Abilify spending in 2014 topped $2.5 billion and demonstrated a 17 percent unit-cost increase over the previous year…

We Respond & Your Comments

OMG! We bought $2.5 Billion of this stupid psychiatric drug? Is somebody crazy?

Just one problem here: we didn’t. Bristol-Myers Squibb, maker of Abilify, reports in its audited 2015 SEC filings that U.S. sales of Abilify were just $1.57 billion and worldwide sales were only $2.02 billion.

What’s going on here? Medicare reported Abilify sales at the public list price of the drug, ignoring the discounted prices actually paid by insurers.

We step outside Oregon today to remind you to look behind numbers government numbers, see how they were calculated and what agenda they’re advancing. Here the agenda is to gin up anger at Big Pharma and gain support for price controls on drugs.

If we were cynics we might even worry that our buddies in Salem might pull a stunt like this. They wouldn’t, would they?


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