Prescription drug expenditure in the U.S. 1960-2019

Prescription drug expenditure in the United States from 1960 to 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars)

Prescription drug expenditure in the U.S. 1960-2019 The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that prescription drug expenditure in the United States came to some 333 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. This amount includes only retail drug spending, excluding nonretail. Estimations of drug spending can vary by investigating organization. For the U.S., among the most relevant drug spending calculations are provided by CMS, ASPE (Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation), and pharmaceutical market researcher IQVIA.
High drug prices in the U.S.

The United States is the country with the highest total drug spending and also with the highest per capita pharmaceuticals spending among developed countries. This is mostly connected to higher drug prices in the United States. For example, the price for blockbuster drug Humira was more than three times higher in the United States than in Switzerland in 2015. But whereas in other countries governments more or less directly control drug prices, the U.S. leaves drug pricing to market competition. As a consequence, the U.S. market is the most profitable for pharmaceutical companies.

Where the money is spent

Nearly half of all Americans have taken at least one prescription medicine within the preceding month. The therapeutic areas where spending is the highest are ‘traditionally’ to be found among Antidiabetics, oncologics, autoimmune, and respiratory diseases. Based on number of prescriptions filled, antihypertensives, pain reliever, and mental health drugs are the leading classes.
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Prescription drug expenditure in the United States from 1960 to 2019 (in billion U.S. dollars)

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Expenditure in billion U.S. dollars
2019*360.3
2018*344.5
2017333.4
2016332
2015324.5
2014297.9
2013265.2
2012259.2
2011258.8
2010253.1
2009252.7
2008242.7
2007236
2006224.4
2005205.3
2000121
199040.3
198012
19705.5
19602.7
Expenditure in billion U.S. dollars
2019*360.3
2018*344.5
2017333.4
2016332
2015324.5
2014297.9
2013265.2
2012259.2
2011258.8
2010253.1
2009252.7
2008242.7
2007236
2006224.4
2005205.3
2000121
199040.3
198012
19705.5
19602.7
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The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates that prescription drug expenditure in the United States came to some 333 billion U.S. dollars in 2017. This amount includes only retail drug spending, excluding nonretail. Estimations of drug spending can vary by investigating organization. For the U.S., among the most relevant drug spending calculations are provided by CMS, ASPE (Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation), and pharmaceutical market researcher IQVIA.
High drug prices in the U.S.

The United States is the country with the highest total drug spending and also with the highest per capita pharmaceuticals spending among developed countries. This is mostly connected to higher drug prices in the United States. For example, the price for blockbuster drug Humira was more than three times higher in the United States than in Switzerland in 2015. But whereas in other countries governments more or less directly control drug prices, the U.S. leaves drug pricing to market competition. As a consequence, the U.S. market is the most profitable for pharmaceutical companies.

Where the money is spent

Nearly half of all Americans have taken at least one prescription medicine within the preceding month. The therapeutic areas where spending is the highest are ‘traditionally’ to be found among Antidiabetics, oncologics, autoimmune, and respiratory diseases. Based on number of prescriptions filled, antihypertensives, pain reliever, and mental health drugs are the leading classes.
Show more
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