2:03 PM
Feb 14, 2018
 |  BC Extra  |  Politics & Policy

Study: U.S. prescription drug spending to accelerate

Editor's Note: This article was updated on Feb 14, 2018 at 4:55 PM PST

A report by CMS’s Office of the Actuary predicts average spending growth of prescription drugs will outpace most large health care goods and services, averaging 6.3% growth per year for the next decade.

The expected faster growth will be driven by a shift to spending on specialty drugs, and the study predicts prescription drug spending will hit $604.8 billion by 2026, nearly double present levels.

Drug company rebates, which have in recent years kept net prices lower, are not expected to grow as sharply as in the past. The report expects the effect of rebates to level off starting around 2021.

Economic and demographic fundamentals are expected to drive up overall U.S. health spending by an average of 5.5% a year from 2017 to 2026.

The study was published in Health Affairs on Wednesday.

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