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Prescription Drug Trends

Spending for prescription drugs is one of the fastest growing components of health care. Rising prices, increasing prescription use (particularly among the elderly), and growing reliance on newer, higher-priced drugs have all contributed to spending growth. The Kaiser Foundation published a Fact Sheet earlier this year, which expands on this trend.

As I said ealier, drug companies will use all sorts of underhanded tactics to market their products to consumers. In fact, drug companies will spend over $3 billion this year just to advertise their drugs to consumers. That may seem like a bunch of money, but it is peanuts compared to their return. Americans will spend over $500 billion on drugs this year. Does anyone out there really believe that Americans are getting half a trillion dollars of benefits from these drugs? Drug companies are not stupid. They have been able to change the rules so they can now market to consumers directly. It is no wonder why two-thirds of doctor visits result in a drug being prescribed. This is one of the main reasons why spending for prescription drugs is the fastest-growing category of health care expenditures.

Kaiser Foundation March 2003 PDF File

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