GAO Report on DTC/Medicare spending flawed beyond reason

  • According to a GAO Report “Medicare Parts B and D and beneficiaries spent $560 billion on drugs from 2016 through 2018, $324 billion of which was spent on advertised drug”.
  • GAO’s review of four advertised drugs found that drug manufacturers changed their DTCA spending during key events, such as increasing spending when a drug was approved to treat additional conditions or decreasing spending following the approval of generic versions.
  • The report fails to acknowledge the role of HCPs in prescribing medications and empowered patients who may have been educated by DTC ads.
  • This report is going to lead to more calls to limit DTC advertising.
  1. What percentage of people who saw an advertised drug asked for and received the advertised product?
  2. What percentage of patients did some research online before asking about/for an advertised drug?
  3. Do DTC ads lead to increased patient knowledge of chronic health issues?

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