Trend of Rising Cost of Prescription Drugs Expected to Continue in 2017
The ever rising prices of prescription drugs are among the main factors that push up health-care costs in America. Although prices are increased across the board, specialty drugs get more attention because of their high cost. In 2016 specialty drug prices rose by 18.9 percent, and another increase of 18.7 percent is expected in 2017.
Specialty drugs account for less than 1 percent of all prescriptions but contribute about 35 percent of the price trends of prescription drugs. The general cost of drugs prescribed to people aged 65 and below is expected to rise. In 2016, 11.3 percent price increase was reported while another 11.6 percent is predicted in 2017.
The rise in the cost of prescription drugs is very high and will have an effect on a majority of Americans. A report by Centers for Diseases Control and Prevention indicates that more than half of Americans take at least one prescription a month while one out of five Americans uses at least three prescriptions. It seems Americans are not discouraged by the high prices of the drugs.
In 2015, 4.4 billion drug prescriptions were issued to Americans. Out of the many drugs given out as a prescription, ten brands accounted for 20 percent. The report further indicated that Americans spent $44 per brand of prescription, a rise of 22 percent from the year before. Demand for the drugs does not seem to drop, and the manufacturers may be motivated to increase the prices.
The annual cost of prescription drugs for an individual per brand can exceed $500. This means the cost of prescription can be very high in families with many members depending on prescriptions.
Many Americans commonly use prescription drugs. The high demand may be the reason for the constant rise in prices. Although the price increases on all prescriptions, the attention is on the specialty drugs whose cost rises by a bigger margin than others. Current reports indicate that the trend of rising prices is likely to continue into the future.