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More than two dozen big buyers of prescription medicines expect that prices will rise by an average of 8% annually over the next three years, a slight uptick from a year ago. And 19% believe that a “substantial portion” of the anticipated increases can be attributed to a shift to newer, pricier therapies, which is up from 8% a year ago, a new survey found.

Notably, the slightly higher projection “may be the continuation of a trend toward expectations for double-digit increases” for prescription medicines in the future, wrote analysts at Cowen, who queried 26 hospitals, pharmacy benefit managers, and health maintenance organizations that purchased about $90 billion in medicines in 2022, or about two-fifths of U.S. retail drug purchases.


In general, the analysts believe that drug prices will continue to increase because innovative medicines will continue to provide real benefits to patients. The medications most often cited as contributing to these price expectations are used to treat cancer and diabetes, but also cell and gene therapies for any number of diseases.

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