Health Services Research & Development

Veterans Crisis Line Badge
Go to the ORD website
Go to the QUERI website

HSR&D Citation Abstracts

Search | Search by Center | Search by Source | Keywords in Title

Schumock GT, Stubbings J, Hoffman JM, Wiest MD, Suda KJ, Rim MH, Tadrous M, Tichy EM, Cuellar S, Clark JS, Matusiak LM, Hunkler RJ, Vermeulen LC. National trends in prescription drug expenditures and projections for 2019. American journal of health-system pharmacy : AJHP : official journal of the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 2019 Jul 18; 76(15):1105-1121.
PubMed logo Search for Abstract from PubMed
(This link leaves the website of VA HSR&D.)


Abstract: PURPOSE: Historical trends and factors likely to influence future pharmaceutical expenditures are discussed, and projections are made for drug spending in 2019 in nonfederal hospitals, clinics, and overall (all sectors). METHODS: Drug expenditure data through calendar year 2018 were obtained from the IQVIA National Sales Perspectives database and analyzed. New drug approvals, patent expirations, and other factors that may influence drug spending in hospitals and clinics in 2019 were also reviewed. Expenditure projections for 2019 for nonfederal hospitals, clinics, and overall (all sectors) were made through a combination of quantitative analyses and expert opinion. RESULTS: U.S. prescription sales in calendar year 2018 totaled $476.2 billion, a 5.5% increase from 2017 spending. The top 3 drugs by expenditures were adalimumab ($19.1 billion), insulin glargine ($9.3 billion), and etanercept ($8.0 billion). Prescription expenditures in nonfederal hospitals totaled $35.8 billion, a 4.8% increase from 2017. Expenditures in clinics in 2018 increased by 13.0% to $80.5 billion. The increase in spending in nonfederal hospitals was largely driven by new products and increased utilization of existing products. The list of the top 25 drugs by expenditures in nonfederal hospitals and clinics was dominated by specialty drugs. CONCLUSION: We predict continued moderate growth of 4-6% in overall drug expenditures (across the entire U.S. market). We expect the clinic sector to continue to experience high (11-13%) growth in drug spending in 2019. Finally, for nonfederal hospitals we anticipate growth in the range of 3-5%. These estimates are at the national level. Health-system pharmacy leaders should carefully examine local drug utilization patterns to determine their own organization's anticipated spending in 2019.