Pharmacy Times, Volume 0, 0

Whereas the rate ofspending on prescriptiondrugs has gradually decreased,the US totalhealth care bill for 2004totaled almost $2 trillion.The study, reported in Health Affairs(January 10, 2006), found that prescriptiondrug costs, which comprised 11% of allhealth costs, rose at a slower pace, comparedwith hospital and physician visits.Drug sales increased by 8.2% in 2004, arate 2% less than the 2003 figure. Theresearchers suggested that the introductionof fewer blockbuster drugs duringthe study period contributed to thedecrease.

The results of the study, conducted bythe Centers for Medicare & MedicaidServices, also indicated that the launch ofOTC and generic equivalents of bestsellingdrugs lowered overall drug costs.