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Medicare Part D 2009 Data Spotlight: Ten Most Common Brand-Name Drugs

This Data Spotlight focuses on Part D plan coverage of the ten brand-name drugs that were most commonly prescribed for Medicare beneficiaries in 2006 and lack generic equivalents in 2009. Findings are based on an analysis of data for the 44 unique, national and near-national stand-alone prescription drug plans. The list of the top ten brand-name drugs is based on the number of prescriptions filled in 2006 in all Part D plans. The list includes cholesterol-lowering and other cardiovascular medications; one drug for treating osteoporosis; two proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) used to treat gastrointestinal reflux and ulcers; an inhaled drug that treats asthma, emphysema, and other respiratory disorders; and medications used to treat dementia, depression, and bipolar disorder.

The spotlight is one in a series analyzing key aspects of the Medicare Part D drug plans that will be available to beneficiaries in 2009. The analysis was conducted jointed by Jack Hoadley of Georgetown University, Elizabeth Hargrave of NORC at the University of Chicago, and Juliette Cubanski and Tricia Neuman of the Kaiser Family Foundation.

Issue Brief (.pdf)