Mid-Year 2017 Report: Drug Spending Significantly Lower
New data shows negative or very low drug spending growth in 2017.
Negotiated Rebates and Discounts Result in Lower Trend in Drug Spending
Negotiated rebates and discounts from drug manufacturers contributed to this lower trend in drug spending. Unfortunately, those negotiated savings realized by Prime and its health insurer clients are not often shared with patients to lower out-of-pocket costs at the pharmacy counter.
Overall Change in Drug Spending
In a new mid-year report, Prime Therapeutics - a major pharmacy benefit manager (PBM) which serves 21 health insurance companies with more than 20 million members - shows negative or very low drug spending growth in 2017. As Adam Fein, an expert in pharmaceutical economics, notes, "The results strongly contradict the public rhetoric about excessive growth in drug spending and prices."
Rx Drug Spending: Annual Percentage Change
Following cyclical growth due to the introduction of cures for Hepatitis C and the coverage expansion of the Affordable Care Act, prescription drug spending is growing in line with overall health care expenditures.
Leading Pharmacy Benefits Managers All Report Low Single Digits Drug Spending Increases
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) projects prescription drug spending will grow in line with overall health care expenditures through 2024. Prescription drug spending growth slowed from 9% in 2015 to 5% in 2016, and leading Pharmacy Benefit Managers report prescription drug spending increases of less than 4% for commercial payers in 2016.