In a QuintilesIMS report, various aspects of the market for medicines in the U.S. is highlighed—panning aggregate spending, key medicine categories, volumes, patient cost exposure, as well as an outlook to 2021. The report seeks to provide appropriate context and perspective around the complex factors that drive the level of spending on medicines and their role in our healthcare system.
Spending on medicines totaled $450 billion in 2016, growing at less than half the rate seen in the last two years, based on invoice prices. Net spending was $323 billion, up 4.8% over 2015 levels, after adjusting for estimated rebates and other price concessions by manufacturers. In 2016, fewer than half the new medicines launched than in the prior two years, and this was coupled to a reduced level of spending on new medicines.
The usage of medicines by patients has continued to rise, in part due to many more patients having wider access to insurance and low cost generic medicines. However, a minority of patients still face substantial out-of-pocket costs and experience a dramatically different trend in their spending on medicines than other patients and the system overall.
The outlook for medicine spending through 2021 is for mid-single digit growth driven by further clusters of innovative treatments, offset by a rising impact from brands facing generic or biosimilar competition. Drug manufacturer responses to heightened market competition and scrutiny of drug pricing are expected to result in more modest levels of invoice (and net) price growth in the forecast period.
U.S. Medicines Growth Slowed by Half in 2016 to 4.8% on a Net Basis
Net Prices Continued to Increase More Slowly Than Invoice Prices
Prescription Growth in Younger Patients is Driven by Usage, While Growth in Older Patients is Due to Population
Prescriptions Dispensed at Zero Patient Out-of-Pocket Cost Reached Thirty Percent in 2016
Since 2013, Average Out-of-Pocket Costs for All Brand and Generic Prescriptions has Decreased by $1.19