ARTICLE | Politics & Policy

CMS: drug spending growth at record low in 2010

January 11, 2012 1:28 AM UTC

The rate of increase in U.S. spending on prescription drugs plummeted in 2010 to the lowest level in the 51-year history of annual national health expenditure accounts, according to a report issued by CMS. Prescription drug spending grew 1.2% to $259 billion in 2010, slowing from a growth rate of 5.1% in 2009. CMS attributed the slowdown to reduced growth in the volume of drugs consumed, a continuing increase in the use of generic medications, the loss of patent protection for branded drugs, fewer new drug introductions than in previous years and an increase in Medicaid prescription drug rebates. The number of prescriptions dispensed increased 1.2% in 2010, down from a growth rate of 2.1% in 2009. Out-of-pocket spending fell by 4.1 percent. ...