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U.S. spending on drugs will grow faster than on other health-care services over the next decade

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Learn how to manage pharmacy benefits efficiently

Drug spending skyrocketed in 2014 and 2015, driven largely by the use of a new generation of curative therapies for hepatitis C. When national health spending data was released showing a 1.3 percent increase in spending on prescription drugs in 2016 — a small fraction of the increases in previous years — a pharmaceutical lobby spokeswoman highlighted the trend as evidence of the “nation’s competitive marketplace for medicines.”

Tyrone’s Commentary:  Are you learned or have you decided to just “pick it up” along the way? The latter will cost you.

The new analysis suggests the low rate of increase will not last. CMS actuaries said the secret rebates that manufacturers negotiate with health plans have helped temper the growth of prescription drug prices and spending in recent years but will not contribute as much in the future. The prescription drug data does not include drugs administered in physicians’ offices or in hospitals.

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Tyrone Squires, MBA, CPBS

I am the proud founder and managing director of TransparentRx, a fiduciary-model PBM based in Las Vegas, Nevada. We help health plan sponsors reduce pharmacy spend, by as much as 50%, without cutting benefits or shifting costs to employees.

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