How CNN reported on Acthar

(CNN)For its investigation into H.P. Acthar Gel, CNN analyzed payment and prescription data from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Drug utilization and spending

To calculate how much the Medicare Part D program has spent on Acthar, CNN combined the 2011-2015 spending totals from the agency's Drug Spending and Utilization file for those years with the 2016 spending total from its 2012-2016 file.
The analysis found that from 2011 to 2016, Medicare has spent nearly $2 billion on 45,297 Acthar claims.
These figures capture the gross cost, which includes payments made by the government, the patient and any third parties. It also excludes any manufacturer or pharmacy rebates or discounts.
Read more about Medicare's Drug Spending data here.


To analyze doctors' prescribing patterns, CNN analyzed data from Medicare's 2016 Provider Utilization and Payment Data: Part D Prescriber Public Use File. The data provides claim and spending totals for each doctor who filed more than 10 claims for a given drug with the Medicare Part D program in 2016, the most recent year of data available.