February 8, 2023
Five More Things I Didn’t Know About Drugs and Drug Prices
Anytime I write about drug costs or the pharmaceutical industry, I get a handful of emails telling me I don’t really know what I’m talking about. And the people who email me are right. The two healthcare topics that I know the least about are drug costs and the pharmaceutical industry. I’ve acknowledged that on many occasions.
But I don’t care. I’m going to write about them again anyway if only to bug the people who email me.
Here are five more things that I didn’t know about drugs, drug spending, drug costs and Big Pharma:
- National health expenditures on retail prescription drugs rose 7.8 percent in 2021 to $378.0 billion, according to the latest NHE spending figures released by CMS in December. That’s more than double the 3.7 percent increase in 2020.
- Patients’ out-of-pocket spending on retail prescription drugs rose 3.1 percent in 2021 to $49.8 billion, less than half of the overall percentage increase that year. But it’s a big jump from the zero percent increase in patients’ out-of-pocket drug spending in 2020.
- The annual number of daily doses of prescribed medications will rise less than 1 percent to 255 billion in North America in 2027 from 254 billion this year, according to the latest annual Global Use of Medicines report from the IQVIA Institute for Human Data Sciences.
- The net annual sales of prescription drugs will rise 1.9 percent to $420 billion in the U.S. in 2027 from $412 billion this year, according to the IQVIA report.
- The loss of drug exclusivity because of patent expirations and the development of biosimilar and generic alternatives will cost pharmaceutical manufacturers $140.8 billion in lost brand-name drug sales in the U.S. from 2023 through 2027, according to the IQVIA report.
Generally speaking, when you add it all together — drug spending is up while drug use is flat — it probably means that manufacturers are charging higher prices for their drugs, which is bad for consumers if they don’t have access to cheaper, generic versions of their prescribed medications.
I could be wrong. I might be right. If not, email me.
If you want to know 10 other things I didn’t know about drugs and drug prices, please read “10 Things I Didn’t Know About Drugs and Drug Prices” on 4sighthealth.com.
Thanks for reading.