Data on Retail Prescription Drug Spending

Data on Retail Prescription Drug Spending

01.08.14 | By

Looking for the latest data on retail prescription drug spending? We’ve got it here.

Yesterday, CMS’ Office of the Actuary released its latest figures on national health care and prescription drug spending for 2012. The good news: retail prescription drug spending growth has remained at a historically low level, 0.4 percent. The current rate is tied for the slowest growth rate since this type of reporting began in 1960 and is smaller than the overall health spending rate of 3.7 percent. It’s also worth noting that retail prescriptions accounted for 1 percent of all health spending between 2011 and 2012 and the remaining growth was attributable to other services.

A similar report recently released from Health Affairs also found that 75 percent of all prescriptions filled in 2012 cost $10 or less and generics accounted for 77 percent of all prescriptions filled in 2012.

The good news about retail prescription drug spending is a great example of how and why the prescription drug lifecycle works. Generic medicines mark the final stage of the lifecycle and prior to their entry into the market, an innovator biopharmaceutical company has taken a brand name medicine through the long journey from idea to discovery, early-stage research and development to clinical trials, regulatory review and eventually to patients. Over time, these new medicines lead to generic copies that patients use at a low cost for years to come.

Additionally, a recent New York Times article that covered this data even pointed to the entry of new generic medicines as one of the drivers for slowed spending of retail prescription drugs. If you’re looking for an interesting read about these reports, you can check it out here.


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