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From the JAMA Network
June 28, 2016

Navigating the Dermatological Drug Cost Curve

Author Affiliations
  • 1Program on Regulation, Therapeutics, and Law (PORTAL), Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts
JAMA. 2016;315(24):2724-2725. doi:10.1001/jama.2016.3851

Increasing costs of brand-name prescription drugs are causing concern for patients, physicians, and policy makers alike.1 What should be done? Some in the pharmaceutical industry suggest that concerns are overblown because overall retail spending on prescription drugs has remained less than 12% of overall health care spending over the past 30 years.2 But this perspective overlooks the fact that the use of lower-cost generic drugs has increased from 20% to more than 85% of all prescriptions dispensed during that time.3 In addition, spiraling brand-name drug prices are substantially affecting the economy and patient care. Retail drug spending now accounts for 19% of employer-provided insurance benefits,4 and nearly a quarter of respondents to a national survey currently taking a prescription drug reported that they or a family member did not fill a prescription in the last year due to cost.5

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