Posted by: Audrey Erbes | April 17, 2016

2015 IMS U.S. Drug Spending Growth Report

2015 IMS Drug Spending Growth

Recently released IMS Health Study: “U.S. Drug Spending Growth Reaches 8.5 Percent in 2015” (April 14, 2016) isn’t surprising to those following the market.  That growth was based on total spending of $310 billion in the US resulting from rebates and other price concessions.  (Invoice-based spending was $425 billion.) Savings from new generics of branded drugs was low.  Price increases on brands was limited due to higher rebates and price concessions from manufacturers. Latter seems to be learning that they can’t continue price increases on marketed brands as they did in past.

Cost of specialty drugs increased dramatically and nearly doubled in the last 5 years and patients have seen growth in out-of-pocket expenses as well as access barriers to certain medicines. There was 21.5 percent increase in specialty drug spending to $150.8 billion on invoice price basis in 2015.This is no surprise. Pharma companies have been learning that providers  are looking for rebates and other cost savings to keep total prescription cost down for their covered lives but they try to pass those costs on to patient.

New Active Substances reached 43 in 2015 and these had much higher price tags than past new medicines.  14 non-orphan with new mechanisms of action entered market. New active substance drug launches were notable advances in precision medicines, rare disease therapeutics and chronic disease medicines that could benefit large populations.

The average patient cost exposure for brand prescriptions filled through a commercial plan has increased more than 25 percent since 2010, reaching $44 per prescription last year. We would expect that the population might blame higher costs on Obamacare when it’s actually the impact of higher priced new breakthrough drugs.

See details of above at

The full version of the report, including a detailed description of the methodology, is available at It can also be downloaded as an app via iTunes at study was produced independently as a public service, without industry or government funding.

Overview of Upcoming Bay Area Life Science Meetings

  • Bio2Device Group, Tuesday Morning, April 19, 2016; Topic: “Women’s Sexual Wellness in 2016: Can Great Medical Products Change the Conversation?” Speaker: Holly Rockweiler, CEO & Co-Founder, Madorra
  • JLABS, Wednesday, April 20, 2016; Event: WORKSHOP 2 | IPO Readiness Bootcamp | April 20
  • EMBS, Wednesday Evening, April 20, 2016; Topic: “;” Speaker: Jonathan Sorger, Sr. Director of Medical Research, Intuitive Surgical, Inc.
  • West Coast Chapter PDA, Thursday, April 21, 2016; Event: “Women in the Biopharmaceutical Industry: A Panel Discussion and Networking with Company Leaders”
  • BioPharma Consortium, Friday, April 22, 2016;Topic: “How to Develop a Winning Patent Portfolio;” Speakers: John Storella, Intellectual Property Law For Innovators In Biotechnology and Shirley Recipon, Life Science and Intellectual Property Professional

You can download details for the above events in a complete PDF list of upcoming events through August 2016 by right clicking on Audreys Picks April 17, 2016 A list of jobs is included in JobsThatCrossedMyDeskThrough April 17, 2016.




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