As prescription drug costs continue to increase, it is important for employers to understand the trends behind cost of prescription drugs and what they can do to better manage their health care expenses. By taking the time to understand prescription drug trends and how the ACA is impacting the pharmaceutical industry, employers may be able to identify ways to reduce health care expenditures.
In 2014, prescription drug spending in the United States increased 13.1 percent—the largest increase since 2003. This jump was due to a number of factors—a major one being a 30.9 percent increase in spending on specialty medications, which are high-cost drugs used to treat complicated conditions like hepatitis C, cancer and rheumatoid arthritis. The growth in prescription spending was also due to more people being insured and gaining prescription drug coverage as a result of the Affordable Cart Act (ACA).