New data released today from IMS Health shows total spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. rose yet again last year, compared to much more modest overall health cost growth. Spending went up 12.2 percent to nearly $425 billion in 2015, largely driven by the introduction of pricey new treatments and unjustifiable price hikes for older medications.
“I wish I were surprised,” said John Rother, executive director of the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing. “Excessive price hikes on prescription drugs drive up spending year after year with no end in sight. Drug makers’ annual habit of demanding a blank check, without reference to any change in value from patients and taxpayers, makes it harder for American families to make ends meet. Ultimately, these price increases make health care more expensive for all of us, even those who don’t use prescription drugs. It’s outrageous.”