Analysts Say Opaque Pricing Helps Drive Drug Cost Hikes With Chart: Per-Person Prescription Drug Spending Increases Steadily From 2014 to 2018

A new study estimates that payers and patients spent a combined 26% more per person on prescription drugs in 2018 compared with 2014, with price growth far outstripping increased demand in driving drug spending. Analysts say a lack of price transparency and resulting market inefficiencies are contributing to the price growth.

Payers and patients spent a combined average of $1,118 per person on prescription drugs in 2018, according to a study published by the Health Care Cost Institute (HCCI). The study analyzed de-identified claims submitted to Aetna Inc., Humana Inc., Kaiser Permanente and UnitedHealthcare over the five-year period.

© 2024 MMIT
Peter Johnson

Peter Johnson

Peter has worked as a journalist since 2011 and has covered health care since 2020. At AIS Health, Peter covers trends in finance, business and policy that affect the health insurance and pharma sectors. For Health Plan Weekly, he covers all aspects of the U.S. health insurance sector, including employer-sponsored insurance, Medicaid managed care, Medicare Advantage and the Affordable Care Act individual marketplaces. In Radar on Drug Benefits, Peter covers the operations of (and conflicts between) pharmacy benefit managers and pharmaceutical manufacturers, with a particular focus on pricing dynamics and market access. Before joining AIS Health, Peter covered transportation, public safety and local government for various outlets in Seattle, his hometown and current place of residence. He graduated with a B.A. from Colby College.

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