Bloomberg

New visualization tool examines the wild universe of prescription drug price markups

New visualization tool examines the wild universe of prescription drug price markups

After Bloomberg put drug price markups on the map, we decided a deeper dive into markups was warranted to see which drugs were getting overinflated and which drugs were not. To sort things out, we built a new visualization dashboard to compare drug markups between state Medicaid programs. We call our creation the “Medicaid Markup Universe.” In this new visualization tool, we found a disturbingly large difference in drug markups across generic drugs in state Medicaid managed care programs, resulting in a slew of warped incentives that pressure supply chain members to value certain medications over others, and thus, certain patients over others. Check out our newest visualization tool and read our latest drug pricing report.

Bloomberg puts drug price markups on the map

Bloomberg puts drug price markups on the map

Earlier this week, Bloomberg reporters Robert Langreth, David Ingold, and Jackie Gu published their results of a fascinating deep dive into Medicaid generic drug prices in their article, “The Secret Drug Pricing System Middlemen Use to Rake in Millions.” The piece did an excellent job explaining the ins and outs of the hidden pricing spreads that exist on generic drugs, and it featured some intuitive visualizations that helped educate readers who may not have been familiar with these little-known drug price tactics. Bloomberg’s methodology was nearly identical to what we used to create our Medicaid Drug Pricing Heat Map, so not surprisingly, the results were very similar as well. The analysis conducted by Bloomberg also integrated the results of a recent report from the state of Ohio's Auditor, which found that in a one-year span, PBMs pocketed more than $224 million dollars in spread pricing. Armed with this data, we set out to discover if we could deduce what pharmacy margins were over that same time period in an effort to peel back new layers of the onion and provide better information on where the money is going. Check out our newest drug pricing report to learn more about where the money is going on hidden prescription drug markups.