Medicine Use and Shifting Costs of Healthcare: A Review of the Use of Medicines in the U.S. in 2013

This report provides the first view of total system spending on medicines for 2013, focusing on the utilization of key healthcare services, including physician office visits, hospitalizations and Emergency Room use. We also examine patient costs for medicines and the shift in the types of employer-provided insurance. 

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Summary

Utilization of all types of healthcare services including medicines rose, and while out-of-pocket costs continue to increase for patients as insurance plan designs change, the vast majority of prescription medicines carry a co-pay of $10 or less. Clusters of innovative medicines were launched bringing new treatment options to patients, especially for cancer. Total drug spending growth rebounded in 2013 from its largest ever decline in 2012. Fewer patent expiries, increased utilization of specialty medicines, and the launch of new medicines contributed to the increase, which remains at historically low levels and less than overall healthcare spending.

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Below, IMS Institute Executive Director Murray Aitken discusses three key findings in this report. Click here to view additional videos from this report.

Key Findings

Live Sciences Comany Needs

  • Patients made more visits to physician offices and hospitals in 2013
  • There was a drop in inpatient admissions via emergency departments
  • Hospitals saw an increase of 13 million outpatient visits in 2013
  • The average number of visits per patient decreased slightly in the Medicare and Medicaid populations

Selected Therapy Areas with Largest Positive and Negative Contributions to TRx Growth

  • Therapy areas such as hypertension and mental health, saw increasing volume
  • Prescriptions for pain medicines declined by 1%
  • Nervous system disorders grew by 5.9%
  • Hypertension prescription growth continuedbelow the overall market level
  • Lipid regulator prescriptions declined by 1%
  • Prescriptions for contraceptions increased 4.6%

 

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