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Reuters has reported that U.S.spending on prescription drugs in 2016 increased by 5.8 percent over 2015 levels to $450 billion based on list prices, and by 4.8 percent to $323 billion when adjusted for discounts and rebates.
A forecast from Quintiles/IMS indicates that the cost of prescription medicines in the United States will increase 4-7 percent through 2021, reaching nearly $600 billion.
QuintilesIMS (previously known as IMS) compiles data for the pharmaceutical industry, has reduced its projections due to fewer new medicines being approved in 2016.
Taking likely manufacturer discounts and rebates into account, spending would grow 2-5 percent to $375 billion to $405 billion in 2021, as net price increases for patent-protected branded drugs slows, the report said.
The rising cost of drugs is becoming a major issue with politicians and insurers, for both generic and branded medicines.
The number of new drug approvals by the FDA has declined to 22 new medicines in 2016, which is down from 45 in 2015,
The projected estimates taking into account that new drug approvals will rebound in 2019 and after, as QuintilesIMS estimates 40 to 45 new brand launches per year through 2021.
Spending on pain medicines declined 1 percent, while prescription growth was seen with chronic therapies, such as those for hypertension and mental health.