U.S. drug spend grew by 6% in 2016, the lowest rate in two years | Pharmaguy's Insights Into Drug Industry News | Scoop.it

The U.S. health system's spending on prescription drugs grew by 5.8% to $450 billion in 2016, the slowest growth rate over the last two years, according to an annual report released Thursday by the QuintilesIMS Institute. U.S. drug spend jumped 12% in 2015 to $425 billion, compared to 2014.


When accounting for rebates and other pricing concessions made by drugmakers, net spending was $323 billion in 2016 — up 4.8% compared to 2015.


Explaining the drop in growth rate, QuintilesIMS said the past two years were outliers: 2014 and 2015 were “atypical relative to the long-term trend,” the report's authors wrote. During those years, spending rates exploded, due to several factors, including broad use of expensive hepatitis-C drugs, like Gilead Sciences' Harvoni, fewer drugs losing patent protection, and higher price increases.


QuintilesIMS attributed slower growth rates in 2016 to fewer product launches and lower price increases for branded products whose patents have not yet expired. The FDA approved 22 new drugs in 2016 — a six-year low.