Published: Thursday, March 10 2016 14:28
U.S. spending on prescription drugs is projected to continue climbing faster than overall health care expenditures, according to a new report from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).
In 2015, U.S. prescription drug spending totaled $457 billion, up 7.8% from $424 billion in 2014, which had represented a 12.5% year-over-year increase. Retail prescription drug spending accounted for 71.9% of total drug expenditures in 2015, while non-retail drugs — including specialty drugs — were 28.1% of overall drug outlays.
Last year, retail prescription drug expenditures grew 7.5% to $328 billion from $305 billion in 2014, according to the “Observations on Trends in Prescription Drug Spending” report from HHS’ Office of Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE). Non-retail drug spending came in at $128 billion, up 7.6% from $119 billion the prior year.
Nationwide, prescriptions totaled 3.95 billion in 2015, up 0.8% from 3.92 billion the previous year, according to ASPE estimates based on IMS Health data. Year-over-year prescription growth has averaged 2.7% for the past five years.