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US Spending on Traditional Prescription Drugs Fell in 2012 for First Time on Record
Date:3/4/2013

ch as rheumatoid arthritis, the costliest specialty category, saw spending increase an additional 23 percent. This increase was driven by both a 9 percent increase in utilization and a 14 percent increase in unit cost.
  • At 33.7 percent, hepatitis C experienced a larger 2012 increase in drug spend than any other major therapy class — traditional or specialty. The increase is due almost entirely to two new drugs introduced in May 2011. Express Scripts projects total spending on hepatitis C medications to increase 32.3 percent in 2013 and another 56.3 percent in 2014.
  • Utilization and costs for cancer medications increased by 3.4 percent and 22.3 percent, respectively. Much of the increase in costs is driven by new drugs developed to treat unique genetic profiles, a trend that increased in recent years.
  • In 2012, the Food and Drug Administration approved 22 new specialty drugs, many of which will cost more than $10,000 per month of treatment.
  • New Insights Into Medicare and Medicaid Populations

    The Drug Trend Report also includes annual data and new research specifically related to Medicare and Medicaid populations.

    • New research shows that physicians are more likely to prescribe generic medications to Medicare patients if the prescriber is younger, if they see a large number of Medicare patients, and if they practice in Midwestern states such as Ohio, Illinois and Michigan.
    • Due to the rise in the number of Americans seeking treatment for drug and alcohol abuse, the largest percentage increase in Medicaid drug spend is attributed to chemical dependence. With spend increasing 24.3 percent in 2012, chemical dependence for the first time is among the top 10 Medicaid traditional drug spend therapy classes.
    • Utilization of cancer medications increased 11.8 percent for
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    SOURCE Express Scripts
    Copyright©2012 PR Newswire.
    All rights reserved

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