Brand-Name Drugs Costing Tax Payers

drugs_2013(CNN) — Your tax dollars that fund Medicare may be going toward excessive amounts of name-brand drugs when cheaper generics could be prescribed instead, a new report suggests.

A small portion of doctors nationwide is costing American taxpayers big time because of their tendency to prescribe name-brand medications through Medicare even when generics are available, according to an analysis by ProPublica, a nonprofit organization producing “investigative journalism in the public interest.”

The biggest offenders are 913 practitioners who, thanks to disproportionately prescribing name-brand drugs, cost taxpayers an extra $300 million in 2011, say ProPublica’s Charles Ornstein, Tracy Weber and Jennifer LaFleur. Each of these doctors wrote at least 5,000 prescriptions that year, according to the report.

Source: CNN