Medicare to launch website showing comparative drug pricing

Medicare has announced it will be publishishing detailed information comparing the prices of most prescription drugs, which is set to shake up the pharmaceutical industry.

Economists and federal officials say the information, intended to help Medicare beneficiaries, also could be immensely useful to other consumers, as well as to private insurers and employers who provide drug coverage to employees and retirees.

Data will be available to consumers late this month on a government Web site, The site will list the prices charged for various dosages of specific drugs at retail pharmacies in or near a given ZIP code.

If a brand-name drug has generic equivalents, their prices also will be displayed.

Medicare officials said the Web site also would show prices for competing brand-name drugs used to treat the same condition. Thus, a person shopping for Lipitor could see the prices for other cholesterol-lowering agents such as Zocor and Crestor.


The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of News Medical.
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