Projecting future drug expenditures - 2012

James M. Hoffman, Edward Li, Fred Doloresco, Linda Matusiak, Robert J. Hunkler, Nilay D. Shah, Lee C. Vermeulen, Glen T. Schumock

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

47 Scopus citations


Purpose. Factors likely to influence drug expenditures, drug expenditure trends in 2010 and 2011, and projected drug expenditures for 2012 are discussed. Summary. Data were analyzed to provide drug expenditure trends for total drug expenditures and the hospital and clinic sectors. Data were obtained from the IMS Health National Sales Perspectives database. From 2009 to 2010, total U.S. drug expenditures increased by 2.7%, with total spending rising from $299.2 billion to $307.5 billion. Drug expenditures in clinics grew by 6.0% from 2009 to 2010. Hospital drug expenditures increased at the moderate rate of 1.5% from 2009 to 2010; through the first nine months of 2011, hospital drug expenditures increased by only 0.3% compared with the same period in 2010. The dominant trend over the past several years is substantial moderation in expenditure growth for widely used drugs, primarily due to the ongoing introduction and wide use of generic versions of high-cost, frequentlyused medications. At the end of 2010, generic drugs accounted for 78% of all retail prescriptions dispensed. Another pattern is substantial increases in expenditures for specialized medications, particularly in the outpatient setting as growth in prescription drug expenditures for clinic-administered drugs consistently outpaces growth in total expenditures. Various factors are likely to influence drug expenditures in 2012, including drugs in development, the diffusion of new drugs, generic drugs, drug shortages, and biosimilars. Conclusion. For 2012, we project a 3-5% increase in total drug expenditures across all settings, a 5-7% increase in expenditures for clinic-administered drugs, and a 0-2% increase in hospital drug expenditures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-421
Number of pages17
JournalAmerican Journal of Health-System Pharmacy
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 1 2012


  • Ambulatory care
  • Costs
  • Drug distribution
  • Drugs
  • Economics
  • Hospitals
  • Prescriptions
  • Product development

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health Policy
  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology


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