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Emerging Trends In Prescription Drug Spending

Emerging Trends In Prescription Drug Spending

With costs of prescription drugs rising not only in America, but all over the world, there’s no denying that this expenditure is emerging as a hot topic not only for patients, but amongst professionals in the field too. With one in four people taking all kinds of prescription drugs, from sildenafil tablets to atorvastatin, it’s no surprise that new trends in prescription drug spending are emerging on a regular basis, but what are the main trends we can see today? We’ve decided to take a deeper look, so read on to find out!

Patients Are Turning To Online Ordering

It’s no secret that the internet is revolutionising the way that we live our lives, and how we buy our medication certainly isn’t exempt from that. The emergence of online pharmacies on a larger scale in recent years has made it easier than ever for people from all walks of life to fill their prescriptions without needing to pop into a bricks and mortar pharmacy. There’s also the added bonus in that online pharmacy drugs can also work out a lot cheaper. With the rising costs, it’s understandable that patients are seeking out cheaper alternatives, and for those who struggle with mobility or may not live close to a pharmacy, a cheaper and easier opportunity to get hold of their much-needed medication is one that they’re likely to grab with both hands.

Mental Health Prescription Spending Is Up

With the prescriptions of mental health-related drugs increasing by around 6.8% each year, it is understandable that we are also seeing a rise in how much health spending is going towards these prescription medications. It’s argued that this rise in prescriptions could be from longer-term treatments becoming available, and a higher awareness of mental health as a whole, but this isn’t always a positive for those that are suffering. While awareness and prescriptions might be up, the costs are too, with antipsychotic drugs being the most expensive amongst them. Whether this increase in spending will bring the costs down in the future has yet to be seen, but it’s a trend that many patients are hoping to see.

Patients Are Struggling To Afford Prescription Drugs

For patients required to take prescription drugs as part of a treatment plan, 1 in 4 often struggle to afford them. Very few of those currently required to take prescription medication find it easy to pay for them, with over 50% of patients struggling somewhat to do so. In fact, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation Health Tracking Poll, while 45% find it easy, only 28% find it somewhat easy, and 17% find it somewhat difficult. However, there are 9% of patients that find it very difficult, but this is thought to increase as income goes down, and drug prices go up.

New, Speciality Drugs Are A Major Part Of Recent Spending

Speciality drugs are an emerging treatment option that plenty of patients all across the country are happily taking on. These drugs are used for treatments of complex, chronic or rare conditions, and where treatments may not have been available before, the introduction of these drugs has undoubtedly been followed by an increase in spending on them. Speciality Drug spending doubled in 2013-14, and while it was followed by a decrease the following year, the 2015-16 and 2016-17 spending most definitely increased, and is expected to jump up even more so in the following year.

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