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U.S. total medicine spending 2002-2019

In the United States, the total amount of money spent on medicines reached approximately 511 billion U.S. dollars in 2019. Spending increased each year between 2012 and 2019, rising by a total of almost 200 billion U.S. dollars over that period.

How are drugs categorized in the United States?

Sales of brand name drugs accounted for a 80 percent share of the money spent on medicines in the United States in 2019. Humira was the medicine that generated the most sales revenue in 2018, making around 21 billion U.S. dollars. Drugs can be categorized in a variety of different ways, but one common method is to group them by therapeutic use, i.e., by the type of condition they are used to treat. Antidiabetics continues to be one of the categories where the most money is spent, with the United States spending almost 67 billion U.S. dollars on drugs to treat diabetes in 2019.

What is Humira used for?

Humira is a drug used to reduce the signs and symptoms of a number of autoimmune diseases in adults, such as rheumatoid arthritis. The drug, manufactured by the company AbbVie, is the leading pharmaceutical product worldwide based on sales – sales of the drug accounted for approximately 57 percent of AbbVie’s total revenue in 2019. The prescription drug is given by an injection under the skin, and two kits of the Humira Pen (40 mg) cost an average of 4,480 U.S. dollars in the United States in 2017, which was far more expensive than other selected countries.

Total nominal spending on medicines in the U.S. from 2002 to 2019*

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Release date

August 2020


United States

Survey time period

2002 to 2019

Supplementary notes

* Non-discounted spending. Includes prescription and insulin products sold into chain and independent pharmacies, food store pharmacies, mail service pharmacies, long-term care facilities, hospitals, clinics, and other institutional settings. Excludes OTC.
This statistic was assembled from several editions of the same IMS Health/QuintilesIMS/IQVIA report.

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Statistics on "U.S. pharmaceutical industry"

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