The Drop in Drug Spending

Sales of traditional drugs fell for the first time according to Express Scripts’ annual Drug Trend Report.

Sales of traditional drugs fell for the first time according to Express Scripts’ annual Drug Trend Report. The decline is being attributed to patent expirations, causing a greater use of generic drugs and increased competition. According to the report, the higher cost of specialty medications offset the overall decline. Express Scripts’ report anticipates these trends to continue.

Therapy classes saw an increase in utilization; however, unit costs saw a decrease. Cost increases for diabetes medications drove an increase in spending. Other high-use medications, however, such as those to treat depression saw a decrease in spend despite an increase in utilization. Drugs that treat attention disorders saw an upward trend because of increases in both utilization and drug cost.

Has the pharmaceutical industry seen the beginning of an overall decline in sales? Are there enough new drugs in the pipeline to push conventional drug sales forward? How is your company battling the trend?