DRUG SPENDING: Increased 84% Over Five Years
Spending on prescription medications soared an astounding 84% between 1993 and 1998, according to a new study released by the National Institute for Health Care Management. The study found that retail price increases accounted for 64% of the total increase, a finding that counters drug manufacturers' "assertions that increased use of prescription drugs, rather than higher prices, accounts for most of the spending increases." It also found that the "10 most heavily advertised drugs," including Claritin, Propecia and Zocor, "accounted for 22% of the total increase in drug spending from 1993-1998." All told, drug companies spent $8.3 billion on product promotion in 1998, about half what they spent on R&D. Insurers and employers picked up most of the tab for the increased drug spending, USA Today reports, with their costs going up 123%. Consumers saw their out-of-pocket costs go up 13% (Appleby, 7/9).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.