Prescription Drug Inflation Slowing, CMS Studies Show

Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

The rising cost of prescription drugtherapy—a key factor in overall healthcare inflation for the past decade—hasbegun to moderate.

New figures issued by the government'sCenters for Medicare and MedicaidServices (CMS) indicate that totalUS spending on prescription medicinesrose 10.7% in 2003, a significantlyslower rate of increase than the 14.9%jump that occurred in 2002.

Health care analysts contend thatthis moderating trend has continuedinto 2005, thanks to a variety of factorsincluding increased consumer acceptanceof generic drugs, cost-containmentefforts by pharmacy benefitmanagers, and the withdrawal of severalhigh-priced prescription painkillerssuch as Vioxx and Bextra.

Mr. Rankin is a freelance medical writer.