The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics recently released a report "Medicines Use and Spending Shifts: A Review of the Use of Medicines in the U.S. in 2014." One summary of the IMS report by Michael Johnsen "IMS: Americans filled a record 4.3 billion prescriptions in 2014" was published by Drugstore News on 4-14-2015. Johnsen notes that despite a lower demand for healthcare services during 2014 even though more people were insured under the Affordable Care Act that spending on medicines rose 13% and showed record spending on new brand name drugs. Most of the increase was in expanded Medicaid programs and for specialty medicines. Fewer prescriptions were filled by patients with employer-based insurance, attributed to high out-of-pocket costs. LEARN MORE.  Several other news outlets also carried summaries. Missing from these is a comparison of the increased usage to the rate of medication errors or to the volume of direct to consumer prescription drug advertising. To obtain the full report one needs to register at IMS site.

Posted on April 22, 2015 and filed under Affordable Care Act.