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Drug Prices Under the Medicare Drug Discount Card Program

Please contact Rubén Hernández-Murillo for questions regarding the data and programs for this article. He can be reached at Ruben.Hernandez@stls.frb.org.

In early 2004, the U.S. government initiated the Medicare Drug Discount Card Program (MDDCP), which allowed card subscribers to obtain discounts on prescription drugs. Pharmacy-level prices were posted on the program website weekly with the hope or promoting competition among card sponsors by facilitating consumer access to prices. A large panel of pharmacy-level price data collected from this website indicates that price dispersion across cards persisted throughout the program.

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