Projecting future drug expenditures - 2002

Nilay D. Shah, Lee C. Vermeulen, John P. Santell, Robert J. Hunkler, Karrie Hontz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Drug-cost projections for 2002 and factors likely to influence drug costs are discussed. The United States continues to face the challenge of increased growth in health expenditures, and pharmaceutical expenditures continue to increase significantly faster than the growth in total health care expenditures. These increases can be largely attributed to a combination of general inflation, an increase in the average age of the U.S. population, and the increased use of new technologies. On the basis of price inflation and nonprice inflationary factors, including increases in volume, shifts in patient and therapeutic intensity, and the expected approval of new drugs, we forecast a 15.5% increase in drug expenditures in 2002 for hospitals and clinics and an 18.5% increase for ambulatory care settings. One of the most substantial contributors to the rise in pharmaceutical expenditures over the past decade is the successful introduction and rapid diffusion of new pharmaceuticals. Data about many new drugs on the horizon are provided. One agent likely to have the highest impact on hospitals in the next year is drotrecogin alfa for the treatment of sepsis. The cost of this agent is expected to range from $3,000 to $10,000 per patient per course of therapy. Other factors influencing medication costs, including generic medications, legislative initiatives, and the recent acts of terrorism committed against the United States, are also discussed. Technological, demographic, and market-based changes, and possibly public policy changes, will have a dramatic influence on pharmaceutical expenditures in the coming year. An understanding of what is driving the changes is critical to the effective management of these resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)131-142
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2002


  • Costs
  • Drug use
  • Economics
  • Health care
  • Prescriptions
  • Pricing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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