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New report confirms competitive market works; Net prices for medicines increased just 2.8 percent in 2015

Holly Campbell   |     April 14, 2016   |   SHARE THIS

Despite misleading claims made about spending on new innovative treatments and cures, another report confirms how the competitive biopharmaceutical market works to control costs. Net prices for brand medicines increased just 2.8 percent in 2015, down from 5.1 percent the prior year as discounts and rebates negotiated by payers rose sharply, according to a new report from IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.

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The report also projects medicine spending growth will continue to trend down and moderate to 4 to 7 percent, in line with overall health care costs, through 2020. According to IMS, “spending growth in 2014 and 2015 were atypical relative to the long-term trend driven by wider use of hepatitis C treatments and less patent expiry.”

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In addition to IMS, CVS Health and Express Scripts both recently reported actual medicine spending growth in 2015 was less than half from the prior year – 5 percent and 5.2 percent respectively. This is due to a competitive marketplace for medicines where large, powerful purchasers negotiate aggressively and generic utilization rates are nearly 90 percent.

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The report also found patients faced higher average cost exposure for branded medicines as coinsurance and pharmacy deductibles evolve. This follows similar research, released by Kaiser Family Foundation yesterday, on patient cost sharing rising faster than insurance costs underscoring the need for policy solutions that deliver innovative treatments to patients through empowering and engaging consumers.

Read more on how the competitive biopharmaceutical market controls costs and encourages the development of new treatments and cures at www.phrma.org/cost.

Holly Campbell

Holly Campbell Holly Campbell is a senior director of public affairs at PhRMA focusing on the cost and value of medicines. Prior to joining PhRMA, Holly worked for large and small public relations firms where she provided strategic communications counsel, media relations and partnership expertise to health care and pharmaceutical clients. In her free time, she enjoys taking barre classes, trying new restaurants and spending time with Boss and Poppy, her rescue pups.

Topics: drug cost, health insurance, out of pocket costs, Policy Solutions, Market Distortions

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