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What We’re Reading: Medicare Plan Stability; Cancer Access Hurdles for Women; 9 Million Prescriptions for Weight Loss Drugs


Medicare Advantage and Medicare Part D prescription drug plans will maintain stability in 2024; a report found that women encounter disadvantages in cancer prevention and care; prescriptions for semaglutide, similar drugs surpass 9 million.

Medicare Advantage, Medicare Prescription Drug Plans, Will Be Stable in 2024

CMS announced Tuesday that average premiums, benefits, and plan choices for Medicare Advantage and the Medicare Part D prescription drug program will stay stable in 2024, according to CMS.gov. Adopted improvements in the 2024 Rate Announcement and the 2024 Medicare Advantage Part D Final Rule include improved beneficiary protections surrounding marketing and prior authorization and boosted access to behavioral health strengthen this stability. CMS is devoted to making sure these programs benefit people enrolled in Medicare, that benefits continue to be stable and strong, and that there are accurate payments to plans.

Women Face Hurdles to Cancer Prevention, Care, According to Report

Women, power and cancer: A Lancet Commission published an extensive, wide-ranging report scrutinizing multiple ways that gender inequality affects cancer care for women around the world, reported STAT. Original research, literature reviews, and a published epidemiological study estimating treatable and preventable cancer deaths around the world were conducted by the commission. The report included 10 main findings, such as women are more likely to go bankrupt from cancer than men, and that 2.3 million deaths could be prevented if all women had optimal cancer care, primary prevention, and early detection.

Prescriptions for Semaglutide, Similar Drugs Reach Over 9 Million

Health care providers provided more than 9 million prescriptions for semaglutide (Ozempic) and similar drugs in the last 3 months of 2022, according to a recent analysis of medications that have become highly coveted for their weight loss effects, according to The Washington Post. The report, released by Trilliant Health on Wednesday, demonstrated that quarterly prescriptions quadrupled between early 2020 and the end of 2022. The data suggest that many prescribers were writing prescriptions for semaglutide off-label, even though it has regulatory approval to treat diabetes. The number for total prescriptions is based off insurance claims and is probably an undercount. Multiple health plans don’t cover weight-loss drugs, forcing patients to pay out of pocket. The analysis used claims data for about 300 million Americans.

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