IMS Health recently released a report reviewing the use of medicine in the United States in 2014, revealing that medicine spending increased at the highest rate since 2001.
The report, "Medicines Use and Spending Shifts: A Review of the Use of Medicines in the U.S. in 2014," attributes the steep increase to innovative new medicines, lower patent expiry impact and higher list prices.
Additionally, the report said demand for health care services declined in 2014 even though it was the first year of insurance coverage for millions of people under the Affordable Care Act.
“Hospital networks are increasingly integrated and coordination of care is seen as a key approach to improving outcomes and lowering costs in the ACA, but nationally health systems remain highly fragmented,” the report said. “Commercially insured patients face increasingly high deductibles, and reduced their prescription usage substantially in 2014.”
Other key findings included nominal spending on pharmaceuticals reached $373.9 billion in 2014, an increase of 13.1 percent; specialty medicines now account for one-third of spending, driven by a wave of recent innovations in treatment for autoimmune diseases, hepatitis C and cancer; overall Medicaid prescriptions increased 16.8 percent in 2014, accounting for 70 percent of the growth in retail prescription demand; and Medicaid prescriptions increased 25.4 percent in states that expanded Medicaid coverage and 2.8 percent in states that did not.