13 Huge Trends In America's Prescription Drug Habit


Photo: easylocum on flickr

Americans are choosing more often to buy prescription drugs, especially as key patents expire, according to an annual report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.In recent years, 80% of a brand’s prescription volume was replaced by generic drugs within six months of patent loss.

Per capita drug spending increased by 0.6% in 2010, however, continuing a steady uptrend in pharmaceutical use.

Sending on medication was $60 billion higher than five years ago

Retail prescription volume increased by 1.2% in 2010 — slightly faster than the population growth rate

Individual spending increased by 0.6% in 2010, after rising 3.1% in 2009

Higher prices — not volume — for patented meds brought in the most new money

Spending on new medicines declined 2.2% over the last 5 years

Generics capture over 80% of a brand's volume within 6 months of patent loss

Generic drugs have seen their market share increase 15% over 5 years

Patients are increasingly filling out prescriptions at chain drugstores over pharmacies

Medicaid prescriptions have increased 0.9% over 5 years

Antidiabetes medication saw spending growth gain of 12.5%, the highest of therapy classes in 2010

Oncologics spending shrank by $2.2 billion over 5 years

Patients spent half the amount on respiratory agents in 2010 compared to the previous year

Spending on antipsychotic drugs grew by $1.4 billion in 2010 — over 4 times faster than 2009

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