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Generics wait years for Medicare coverage

Adapted from The Association for Accessible Medicines analysis; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Medicare is taking years longer than private insurance to cover some generic drugs, meaning seniors could be paying more for their prescriptions, according to Access for Affordable Medicines, a lobbying group for the generic drug industry.

Between the lines: A 2017 policy change made the distinction between generics and brand-name drugs unclear, forcing the two types to compete within the same formulary tiers, Bloomberg notes.

Yes, but: The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has argued this policy keeps Medicare premiums down by encouraging flexibility in the plan's design and increasing negotiating leverage with drugmakers, Axios' Marisa Fernandez writes.

Go deeper: The downside of cheap generics