Costs for medications are expected to rise 3% to 5% in all healthcare settings in 2014, according to a report published online by the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy (AJHP), the professional journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists (ASHP).
Prescription drugs account for approximately 11% of overall U.S. healthcare expenditures. As with other healthcare expenditures, growth in prescription drug spending has lessened in recent years, with a 0.7% decrease in spending during the 12 months ending Sept. 30, 2013, compared with 2012. The report expects a reversal of this trend in 2014, projecting a 3% to 5% increase in drug expenditures across all settings, a 5% to 7% increase in expenditures for clinic-administered drugs and a 1% to 3% increase in hospital drug expenditures.
“Our projections for 2014 indicate a clear reversal of the downward growth in prescription drug expenditures we have seen over the last several years,” said Glen T. Schumock, PharmD, Ph.D., lead author of the report National Trends in Prescription Drug Expenditures and Projections for 2014. “Drug expenditure trends will remain dynamic, and so health systems will need to carefully monitor local drug use patterns.”
These increases in expenditures are influenced by a variety of factors, according to the report, including new drug approvals and patent expirations. Using data provided by IMS Health, the authors report several trends in prescription drug spending, including: