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Variation in Prostaglandin Analog Prices Paid for Through Medicare Part D

Priluck, Aaron Z., BSE*; Havens, Shane J., MD

doi: 10.1097/IJG.0000000000001096
Online Articles: Brief Report

Objective: Determine the prices and price variation of the prostaglandin analogs (PGAs) used in the United States and examine their trends from 2013 to 2016 using Medicare Part D data.

Design: This is a retrospective cross-sectional study.

Participants: All ophthalmologists and optometrists in all 50 states and DC who prescribed any PGA purchased through Part D from 2013 through 2016.

Materials and Methods: Outcome measures were calculated using Excel 2016 based off of the 2013 to 2016 Medicare Part D Prescriber Data.

Main Outcome Measures: The 2013 to 2016 nationwide prices of 7 PGAs, the states with the 2016 minimum and maximum average prices, the SDs in PGA prices among the cities in each state, and the nationwide average of these SDs for 2013 to 2016.

Results: The 2016 nationwide prices of 30-day supplies of bimatoprost, latanoprost, lumigan, travatan Z, travoprost, xalatan, and zioptan in 2016 were: $107.90±25.19, $10.16±1.52, $167.30±17.66, $171.36±19.44, $92.53±15.14, $153.41±15.16, and $162.75±13.22, respectively. Each drug’s SD in city prices within each state averaged nationwide for 30-day supplies in 2016 were $10.89, $1.44, $16.68, $17.23, $10.30, $10.07, and $9.48, respectively. Spending on these drugs totaled $861,180,924 in 2016. There was less price variation within each state as compared with the whole country. No substantial decreases in price variation exist for any drug from 2013 to 2016.

Conclusions: There is substantial variation in PGA prices when purchased by Medicare Part D enrollees across the United States and within each state itself. Simultaneously, the prices and total expenditure on these medications are increasing yearly. Physicians should be cognizant of this price variation for these expensive and chronically used drugs and should educate patients to optimize their Part D supplemental plan.

*College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center

Stanley Truhlsen Eye Institute, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE

Disclosure: The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Aaron Z. Priluck, BSE, MS4 Truhlsen Eye Institute—Nebraska Medicine 985540 Nebraska Medical Center Omaha, NE 68198-5540 (e-mail:

Received July 30, 2018

Accepted September 7, 2018

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