What are the recent and forecasted trends in prescription drug spending?

Prescription drug spending growth slowed again in 2020 after increasing rapidly in 2014 and 2015,  when expensive new specialty drugs came to market. An updated chart collection examines historical and projected trends in retail prescription drug spending and use, with a focus on the role of specialty drugs.

The cost of retail prescription drugs has become a top health policy issue for consumers and policymakers. Most Americans favor actions to address high prescription drug prices. Spending on retail prescription drugs has risen rapidly over past decades, and Medicare has become a major payer.

The chart collection uses 2021 National Health Expenditures Accounts (NHEA) historical and projection data. These and other analyses can be found on the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker, an information hub dedicated to monitoring and assessing the performance of the U.S. health system.

KFF Headquarters: 185 Berry St., Suite 2000, San Francisco, CA 94107 | Phone 650-854-9400
Washington Offices and Barbara Jordan Conference Center: 1330 G Street, NW, Washington, DC 20005 | Phone 202-347-5270

www.kff.org | Email Alerts: kff.org/email | facebook.com/KFF | twitter.com/kff

The independent source for health policy research, polling, and news, KFF is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.