Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues…

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

Prescription drug spending jumped in 2014 because of new brands, higher prices for existing drugs and fewer patent expires. This slideshow looks at past, present and forecasted trends in prescription drug spending with a focus on the role of specialty drugs. It compares drug spending with spending on overall health and on out-of-pocket spending for doctor and hospital care, and it tracks out-of-pocket costs for drugs in relation to what is paid by private insurance and Medicare. The slideshow charts average prices for eight drugs that are up to three times more expensive in the United States than in the wealthy country with the second-highest price.

The slideshow 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. More information about the analysis related to the slideshow is available through the tracker.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.