Medicare Part D reduced glaucoma medication cost-saving behaviors: study

A new study reports that since the implementation of Medicare Part D, fewer beneficiaries with glaucoma are resorting to cost-saving medication measures, such as taking smaller doses or skipping doses.

Between 2004 and 2009, 9.4% of Medicare beneficiaries with glaucoma reported taking smaller doses of their medication to save on costs, while 8.2% skipped doses altogether. When it came to saving money on prescriptions, 26.2% of beneficiaries reported price shopping for medications, 8% spent less money in order to save for medications and 6.9% purchased their medications outside the United States.

Beneficiaries with glaucoma who took smaller doses of medication dropped to 2.7%, while those who skipped doses dropped to 2.8% after the implementation of the Part D benefit, however, according to the study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Ophthalmology. Also, the number of beneficiaries who price shopped decreased to 15.5%, while those who budgeted in other areas to save for prescriptions dropped to 3.5%. Beneficiaries who purchased their medications from outside the U.S. dropped to 1.3%.

Despite the healthier habits noted above due to the start of Medicare Part D, however, researchers found that the percentage of beneficiaries who failed to fill prescriptions due to cost issues remained the same.