Stories

Seniors' spending on cancer drugs has soared

Seniors pay more out of pocket for cancer drugs today than they did in 2010, according to a new JAMA study.

The big picture: The Affordable Care Act reduced seniors' share of their drug bills, but price increases — on new and old drugs alike — have canceled out those savings.

Between the lines: There are 13 cancer pills in Part D that were also covered in 2010. What seniors pay for the vast majority of them is expected to increase this year.

  • For example, out-of-pocket spending on Revlimid increased, on average, by more than $4,000 between 2010 and 2018.

Yes, but: Many cancer drugs aren't covered by Medicare Part D. They are instead in Part B, because they're administered by a doctor rather than picked up at a pharmacy.

Go deeper: Cancer drugs are too expensive, WHO says