Retail Drug Spending In US Flat For 2017 Due Mainly To 'Non-Price' Factors
Drop in number of prescriptions dispensed for opioids contributed to minimal spending growth for retail prescription drugs in 2017, according to latest CMS National Health Expenditures Report.
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Prices for retail drugs across US payers decreased for the first time in years, driven by a drop in generic prices and “little to no growth” in prices for brands.
Drug makers were optimistic going into 2018 about the political climate and drug pricing environment, but the outlook is more tenuous heading into 2019. Now is the time when industry raises prices on mature, marketed drugs and it's unclear how those hikes may be tempered or what the backlash might be.
Retail drug spending rose just 1.3% in 2016, following growth rates of 8.9% and 12.4% in 2015 and 2014, respectively. Moderating trend is reported just ahead of two congressional hearings on drug pricing.