BCBS November 14, 2018
At more than $100 billion, spending on prescription drugs represents over 20 percent of overall healthcare spending for Blue Cross Blue Shield (BCBS) commercially insured members.1 For that reason, analyzing prescription drug spending trends is critical to understanding overall healthcare costs.
Last year, Blue Cross Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), in collaboration with Blue Health Intelligence (BHI), explored baseline trends in the prescription drug market. The 2017 Health of America report, “Rising costs for patented drugs drive growth of pharmaceutical spending in the U.S.,” examined the costs of branded and generic drugs and found
a steady increase in overall drug spending between 2010 and 2016. This increase occurred despite the fact that inexpensive generic drugs dominated the market, representing 82 percent of total prescriptions filled in 2016.