By all accounts, pharmaceutical spending in the United States is skyrocketing. The “rising cost of prescription drugs” is a major concern for Americans. Public opinion polls consistently indicate that a majority of people believe that drug costs are “unreasonable” and largely attributable to pharmaceutical companies’ quest for profits. However, a look at the underlying data reveals that there is a gap between perception and reality.
Annual growth in spending on prescription pharmaceuticals has slowed considerably, from a high of approximately 16% in 2000 to 3% in 2013
Annual growth in health spending overall (4%) exceeds that of prescription drugs (3%)
The percentage of health expenditures represented by prescription pharmaceuticals has hovered at 10%