Spending Growth Returns For U.S. Medicines

Total spending on U.S. medicines increased 1% in 2013 while the use of healthcare services rose for the first time in three years, according to a report by the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics. “Following several years of decline, 2013 was striking for the increased use by patients of all parts of the U.S. healthcare system even in advance of full implementation of the Affordable Care Act. Growth in medicine spending remains at historically low levels despite a significant uptick last year, and continues to contribute to the bending of the healthcare cost curve,” said Murray Aitken of IMS.

Growth in medicine spending remains at historically low levels despite a significant increase last year, and continues to contribute to the bending of the healthcare cost curve. Total dollars spent on medications in the U.S. reached $329.2 billion last year, up 3.2% and a rebound from the 1% decline in 2012. Primary drivers include the reduced effect of patent expirations, price increases, higher spending on innovative new medicines, and greater use by patients of the healthcare system. Patent expirations contributed $19 billion to lower medicine spending, compared with $29 billion the previous year. At the same time, 36 molecular entities were launched in 2013, the largest number in a decade. They focused on disease areas that include oncology, hepatitis C, and HIV. Utilization of healthcare services grew slightly as consumers returned to the healthcare system after several years of self-rationing, primarily through more office visits to specialist physicians and outpatient treatments. In addition, patients with insurance paid higher deductibles and co-insurance last year, even as prescription co-payments declined and are now less than $5 for more than half of all prescriptions filled. For more information, visitwww.theimsinstitute.org.

Last Updated 09/16/2020

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