Growth In Drug Spend Hits 13-Year High; Note To Pharma: Innovation Pays

April 14, 2015 12:10 PM

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In 2014, the U.S. healthcare system spent $373.9 billion on drugs—13.1% more than it did the previous year and the highest rate of spending growth since 2001, according to a new report from IMS Health’s Institute for Healthcare Informatics. Digging into the numbers uncovers one prevailing theme: Innovation pays off for Big Pharma, even when insurers and politicians are on the attack over high drug prices.

As the IMS report points out, 42 novel drugs were introduced last year, up from 36 in 2013 and the most new medicines launched in a single year since 2001. Spending on new brands jumped by $20 billion—triple the previous annual increase. With each new entry came plenty of griping about sky-high pric...

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