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Generic Drug Utilization and Spending Among Medicare Part D Enrollees in 2022

Publication Date
Yevgeniy Feyman, Bisma Sayed, Kenneth Finegold, Anne Hall, Micah Johnson, Rachael Zuckerman, Steven Sheingold, Thomas Buchmueller, Nancy DeLew

In 2022, 43.3 million Medicare Part D enrollees (82 percent) filled 1.1 billion prescriptions for generic prescription drugs. While most enrollees filled at least one prescription for $2 or less, most (54 percent) paid more than $2 for at least one generic drug. Over 6 million enrollees filled at least one prescription for over $20. To address the costs of generic drugs, HHS has outlined plans for the Medicare $2 Drug List (M2DL) Model, which would create a high-value generic drug list that Medicare Part D prescription drug plan sponsors could offer enrollees at a low, fixed copayment ($2 for a month’s supply) without restrictions such as step therapy, prior authorization, or quantity limits.

The purpose of this Issue Brief is to understand the scope of generic drug utilization at baseline and reflect on the potential impact this model could have on making generic drugs more accessible and more affordable to Medicare beneficiaries with Part D coverage. We find that a standardized formulary of high-value generics that cost beneficiaries $2 or less in out-of-pocket spending would reduce confusion and help enrollees afford their prescription drugs.

*This content is in the process of Section 508 review. If you need immediate assistance accessing this content, please submit a request to Yevgeniy Feyman, Content will be updated pending the outcome of the Section 508 review.

Product Type
ASPE Issue Brief
Older Adults | Black & African American People | American Indian & Alaska Native People (AI-AN) | Asian American & Pacific Islanders People (AAPI) | Hispanic, Latino, Latina, & Latinx People | Racial & Ethnic Groups | White People | Medicare Beneficiaries
Location- & Geography-Based Data
National Data | Rural Communities | Urban Communities
Medicare | Medicare Advantage | Medicare Part D