Prescription Drug Expenditures Expected to Rise in 2014

2013 pharmaceutical spending slowed 0.7 percent, compared to 2012.
2013 pharmaceutical spending slowed 0.7 percent, compared to 2012.

Drug costs are projected to rise 3%-5% across all care settings in 2014, according to a study published in the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (2014;71:482-499).

Glen T. Schumock, Pharm.D, PhD, of the University of Illinois in Chicago, and colleagues analyzed data from the IMS Health National Sales Perspectives database. Quantitative and qualitative analyses, along with expert opinion, were used to identify trends in pharmaceutical expenditures and drivers likely to influence future spending.

For the 12 months ending September 2013, total prescription sales were approximately $326 billion, 0.7% lower than sales during the previous 12 months. There was 4.5% and 1.8% growth in pharmaceutical spending by clinics and nonfederal hospitals, respectively.

Large sales increases in clinic settings were driven by vaccines. For hospitals and clinics, few new drug approvals anticipated in 2014 are expected to result in major expenditures. Growth in pharmaceutical spending over the next 12 to 24 months may be driven by expansion of access to health care, as well as continued improvement in the U.S. economy.

"Growth in U.S. prescription drug expenditures is expected to rebound in 2014, with a projected 3 to 5 percent increase in total drug expenditures across all settings this year, including a 5 to 7 percent increase in clinic spending and a 1 to 3 percent increase in hospital spending," the author wrote.

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