A study found that beneficiaries of Medicare Part D are up to three times more likely to be prescribed brand-name diabetes treatments instead of generics compared with patients covered by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Researchers estimated that greater use of generics could have lowered Medicare costs by $1.4 billion in 2008. "It represents essentially spending that is probably not necessary for most people," said lead researcher Dr. Walid Gellad of the Veterans Affairs Pittsburgh Healthcare System.

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