IMS Institute Report: Bending the Health Care Cost Curve

IMS Institute Report: Bending the Health Care Cost Curve

04.17.14 | By Jennifer Wall

The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics released a new report titled, “Medicine use and shifting costs of healthcare: A review of the use of medicines in the United States in 2013.” The study assessed the utilization of key health care services in 2013, as compared to 2012. While total spending on medicines experienced a modest increase in 2013, prescription drug spending remained historically low and is contributing to bending the health care cost curve.

Bringing a new medicine to market is a costly and timely endeavor – it takes on average, 10 to 15 years to research and develop just one medicine and over one billion dollars – but the long-term benefits are significant. The report noted innovative new medicines are improving patient outcomes and transforming patient care in a number of different disease areas including diabetes, multiple sclerosis and hepatitis C, in addition to shifting how health care costs are incurred. Ultimately, these revolutionizing changes represent the promise of fewer doctor visits and hospitalizations and reduced use of long-term care facilities.

The progress being made to help patients live longer, healthier lives is obvious. In 2013, the largest number of orphan drugs in 10 years was launched, and the 10 new cancer treatments approved by the Food and Drug Administration were the most in more than a decade. While the ongoing debate around the cost of medicines has adversely impacted the way their value is perceived, their ability to improve the quality of patient care and reduce costs in other parts of the health care system is incredibly important.

The IMS Institute report shows promise, and the entire health care ecosystem must continue to work together and take a long-term view of reducing health care costs and bringing new medicines to patients fighting disease.

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