Projecting future drug expenditures - 2003

Nilay D. Shah, James M. Hoffman, Lee C. Vermeulen, Robert J. Hunkler, Karrie M. Hontz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Drug expenditure projections for 2003 and factors likely to influence drug costs are discussed. The United States continues to face the challenge of increased growth in health expenditures, and drug expenditures are continuing to increase faster than the growth in total health care expenditures. These increases can be largely attributed to an increase in the average age of the U.S. population and technological advancement. On the basis of price inflation and non-price inflationary factors, including increases in volume, shifts in patient and therapeutic intensity, and expected approval of new drugs, a 10-12% increase in drug expenditures in 2003 for the inpatient setting and a 13.5-15.5% increase for ambulatory care settings are forecasted. While few new drugs are expected to greatly influence expenditures in 2003, the continued diffusion of recently approved drugs such as drotrecogin alfa and nesiritide will have a dramatic impact on total drug expenditures and must be carefully considered in the budgeting process. An agent likely to have a significant impact on HIV treatment is enfuvirtide, the first in a new class of antiretrovirals (fusion inhibitors), but its high cost ($10,000-$15,000 per year) may limit patients' access to this medication. An expanded user's guide is provided to assist the reader in appropriate application of this information in the drug budgeting process. Technological, demographic, and market-based changes and changes in public policy will continue to influence pharmaceutical expenditures in the coming year. An understanding of the overall drivers of medication expenditures and vigilance in monitoring pharmaceutical innovation are critical in the effective management of these resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)137-149
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2003


  • Ambulatory care
  • Antiinflammatory agents
  • Antiretroviral agents
  • Budgets
  • Cardiac drugs
  • Costs
  • Drotrecogin alfa
  • Drug use
  • Drugs
  • Economics
  • Enfuvirtid
  • HIV infections
  • Health care
  • Hospitals
  • Nesiritide
  • Prescriptions
  • Pricing

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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