Americans with private employer health insurance spent nearly 26% more on prescription drugs from 2014 to 2018, according to a new analysis. At the same time, the average price of a medicine purchased by each employee rose by almost 21% and their usage rose more than 4% during that time period.

Moreover, the rate at which prescription drug spending rose also outpaced the increased cost of other medical services, such as doctor visits and hospital admissions, during those five years. On a year-over-year basis, prescription drug spending per person rose 4.7% in 2018, although the rate of growth declined from 2014. Notably, usage rose a modest 1% that year.

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  • Ed, To what extent is this about out of pocket costs that patients pay at pharmacy…that is the cost that matters to patients. Having said that, I am a firm supporter of price increase caps to CPI, and transparency on where that increase goes..the avg gross price of insulin has gone up dramatically over past ten years, but the manufacturers net price has gone down, meaning that increase went to the rebate/PBM.

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