The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Inspector General (OIG) issued a report finding that Medicare could collect billions if pharmaceutical manufacturers were required to pay rebates for Part B drugs. The OIG found that if manufacturers had been required to pay rebates like those paid by Medicaid for 60 high-expenditure Part B brand-name drugs in 2011, Medicare could have collected between $2.7 and $3.1 billion in rebates.
The OIG recommended that CMS examine the potential impacts of establishing a Medicare Part B prescription drug rebate program and address administrative issues that may hinder rebate collections. The OIG also recommended that CMS seek legislative change to institute the program, if appropriate, based on its findings. CMS did not agree with the OIG’s recommendations, responding that would not devote substantial resources to a program that would require Congressional approval and does not appear to be under active Congressional consideration at this time.
The OIG report on the cost benefits Medicare for Part B drug rebates is available at:
Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General. “Medicare Could Collect Billions if Pharmaceutical Manufacturers were Required to Pay Rebates for Part B Drugs.” OEI-12-12-00260. 9 Sept. 2013.