Drug spending is climbing amid the pandemic, however not at hospitals


Katie Adams – –

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Total drug spending in the country rose nearly 5 percent in 2020, but drug spending in hospitals fell by the same percentage, according to a report released April 21 by the American Society of Health System Pharmacists.

Total U.S. drug spending in 2020 was $ 535.3 billion. The categories with the highest drug spending were home health care (13 percent), mail order prescriptions (9 percent), and clinics (8 percent).

Hospital drug spending fell 5 percent as patients delaying care due to the pandemic correlated with decreased drug use in hospitals.

Several new drugs are expected to be approved in 2021 that could impact the country’s drug spending, according to the report. The authors forecast an increase in total drug spending by 4 to 6 percent in 2021. For clinics and hospitals, they forecast an increase in drug spending by 7 to 9 percent and 3 to 5 percent, respectively.

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