W. David Bradford, Busbee Chair in Public Policy in the University of Georgia School of Public and International Affairs, recently published research that showed medical marijuana is having a positive impact on the bottom line of Medicare's prescription drug benefit program in states that have legalized its use for medicinal purposes.
The savings, due to lower prescription drug use, were estimated to be $165.2 million in 2013, a year when 17 states and the District of Columbia had implemented medical marijuana laws. The results suggest that if all states had implemented medical marijuana the overall savings to Medicare would have been around $468 million.
Compared to Medicare Part D's 2013 budget of $103 billion, those savings would have been 0.5 percent. But it's enough of a difference to show that, in states where it's legal, some people are turning to the drug as an alternative to prescription medications for ailments that range from pain to sleep disorders.
More information about Bradford's research (with video) is available here: http://news.uga.edu/releases/article/medical-marijuana-lowers-prescription-drug-use-0716/
Bradford is available to discuss this aspect of the Drug Enforcement Administration’s decision to not reclassify marijuana as a Schedule II drug.
Members of the media may contact Bradford at:Cell: 706-248-5157Email: [email protected]