At $7 billion, Harvoni, a drug used to treat hepatitis C, topped the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services list for the largest spend on Medicare Part D drugs in 2015.
Of the 75,709 Medicare beneficiaries who received the drug, 34,028 were age 65 or over. Harvoni was not in a top ten spot in Part D data released last year for 2014.
The number one spot last year belonged to Solvaldi, which is also used to treat hepatitis C. It had the highest drug spend at $3.1 billion.
This year Solvaldi is in the number 15 slot at $1.3 billion.
The second most costly drug in 2015 is Crestor to treat high cholesterol, at $2.88 billion, followed closely by the insulin pen Lantus Solostar by $2.4 billion.
Filling out the top ten in costs respectively from $2.26 billion to $1.76 billion are Advair Diskus for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, Spiriva, also for COPD, Januvia for diabetes, Revlimid, a chemotherapy treatment, Nexium for acid reflux, Lantus for diabetes and Lyrica for nerve pain.
The CMS prescription list is based on data from more than one million healthcare providers who collectively prescribed $137 billion in Part D drugs in 2015.
In 2014, over 1 million healthcare providers collectively prescribed approximately $121 billion in prescription Part D drugs. That number was $103 billion in 2013.
In the number two spot in 2014 was, Nexium, followed by Crestor, Abilify, to treat depression, bipolar disorder and schizophrenia, Advair Diskus, Spiriva, Lantus Solostar, Januvia; Lantus and Revlimid.
The data used information from Medicare Advantage prescription drug plans and stand-alone prescription drug plans.