- Spending on medications in the US is expected to jump by 11.7% this year—a major increase over the average of 3.6% over the past five years, according to the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
- Expensive but effective new therapies, particularly for hepatitis C and cancer, appear to be at the heart of the increase. The Affordable Care Act, which provides prescription drug benefits to people who previously were uninsured, may also be a factor.
- Analysts expect drug cost increases to moderate over the next few years.
Call it the Sovaldi Effect. As many as 4 million Americans are estimated to have Hepatitis C, and with the course of treatment for the new class of Hep C drugs starting at about $84,000 and heading north, it doesn't take a math genius to see that this will cause a spike in prescription spending.
“We expect this bubble of innovation around hepatitis C will pass, so we won’t see such a contribution to growth in outer years," Murray Aitken, executive director of IMS Health, told Healthcare Finance.