Login Register Subscribe
Current Issue

Help

BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.

To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.

To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.

Name brand drugs drive rising health care costs

Reprints

National health care costs grew 6.5% in 2015, driven by steep increases in the cost of brand-name drugs, according to a report published Monday by S&P Global.

To compare, total health care costs grew 4.3% in 2014, according to the report.

Drug costs in 2015 increased by 15.8% overall, compared with 12.6% in 2014, Washington-based S&P said in the report.

Brand-name drug costs soared 19.2% in 2015, compared with 13.2% last year.

By contrast, generic drug costs increased 6.6% in 2015, compared with an increase of 11.0% in 2014.

Medical services costs increased by 4.3% in 2015, while medical services grew only 2.6% the year before.

Monthly costs per covered member in the employer-sponsored insurance market grew 4.6% to $485.77 as of December 2015, up from $464.32.

Health costs in the individual market trumped those in the employer-sponsored market as per member per month costs hit $525.33 at the end of 2015, up 15.5% from $454.71.

John Rother, president and CEO of the National Coalition on Health Care and executive director of the Campaign for Sustainable Rx Pricing, responded to the S&P report in a statement Monday: “Annual prescription price hikes are driving the overall increase in health care costs and making health care less affordable for Americans. Today's S&P report confirms what we've been saying — these increases in drug cost are unsustainable — and solutions to promote transparency, increase competition, and focus on value must be advanced.”