Mr. Poisal reported findings regarding prescription drug utilization trends based on 1993-97 data from HCFA(now known as CMS)'s Medicare Current Beneficiary Survey. HCFA(now known as CMS) compared utilization among Medicare beneficiaries with prescription drug coverage at any point during the year and at no point during the year. It used two measures of prescription drug utilization: (1) the proportion of beneficiaries filling prescriptions in a given year; and (2) the number of prescriptions per beneficiary in a given year.
During the 5-year period, the proportion of Medicare beneficiaries filling prescriptions showed an upward trend. Although the number of prescriptions per beneficiary rose for both Medicare beneficiaries with prescription drug coverage and Medicare beneficiaries without coverage, the number was higher among Medicare beneficiaries with coverage.