What Are Recent Trends and Characteristics of Workers with High Drug Spending?

An updated chart collection explores prescription drug spending for people who are covered by large employer health plans.

Prescription drug spending grew rapidly between 2014 and 2015, but increases have been more modest recently. Several studies by the federal government, pharmacy benefit managers, and insurers point to high prices for new “specialty” drugs as driving the spike, in addition to price increases for some existing brand name drugs. Prescription drugs are one of the leading contributors to health spending growth, and insurers frequently cite these higher drug costs as a reason for raising premiums so changes in their cost drivers can have significant effects on consumers.

The chart collection is part of the Peterson-Kaiser Health System Tracker, an online information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.