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Drug rebates were associated with higher out-of-pocket costs for patients

June 16, 2021


Federal agencies that regulate drug pricing and healthcare insurance are concerned that an industry practice of using rebates to lower drug costs for insurers has led to increases in list prices and out-of-pockets costs for patients.

To investigate whether patients with or without insurance were paying more because of rebates to insurers, researchers led by the University of Washington examined cost and price data on more than 400 branded drugs.

The study found that rebates were associated with increases in out-of-pocket costs for patients by an average of $6 for those with commercial insurance, $13 for Medicare patients and $39 for the uninsured.

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