5 Drug Spending Trends to Watch

APRIL 26, 2016
Allison Gilchrist, Associate Editor
Total spending on prescription drugs in the United States on a net price basis is expected to reach up to $400 billion by 2020, a new forecast suggests.
IMS Health recently highlighted factors likely to influence future drug spending patterns in a report called “Medicines Use and Spending in the US: A Review of 2015 and Outlook to 2020.”
According to the report, a total of 4.4 billion prescriptions were dispensed in the United States last year. Controlling for marketplace variables, the data provided insight into areas where US health stakeholders can expect to see growth and decline in spending over the next 4 years.
Here are 5 drug spending trends to watch:
1. New drug launches will drive growth in brand-name medication spending.
Of the $282 billion projected growth in spending on brand-name drugs between 2015 and 2020, $91 billion will stem from new medication launches—with 25% of it coming from oncology alone, IMS Health forecasts.
There are currently 2320 novel products in the late-phase development pipeline, and IMS Health predicts that 43 to 49 of them will launch annually over the next 5 years.
“Spending on new brands will continue at near-historic levels,” stated IMS Health senior vice president Murray Aitken in a press release.