Medical Marijuana Saves Medicare $165.2 million
According to a University of Georgia study published in Health Affairs -- Medical Marijuana Laws Reduce Prescription Medication Use In Medicare Part D -- the “availability of medical marijuana has a significant effect on prescribing patterns and spending in Medicare Part D.” To the tune of $165.2 million!
Given ballooning costs for Medicare, policymakers may want to take note (as clearly clinical cannabis laws may not only help our growing population of seniors, but save taxpayers a lot of money in the process).
- National overall reductions in Medicare program and enrollee spending when states implemented medical marijuana laws were estimated to be $165.2 million per year in 2013.
- Using data on all prescriptions filled by Medicare Part D enrollees from 2010 to 2013, we found that the use of prescription drugs for which marijuana could serve as a clinical alternative fell significantly, once a medical marijuana law was implemented.
- Medicare prescriptions for conditions sometimes treated with clinical cannabis (e.g. chronic pain, anxiety, depression, nausea, pain, psychosis, seizures, sleep disorders and spasticity) declined significantly in states where medical marijuana is legal.
- Prescriptions for drugs used to treat other conditions did not decline.
Read the study.