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2012 prescription spending: $2262 per Medicare patient

 In 2012, this was the breakdown of overall prescription drug spending by patient’s type of coverage:

  • $2262.32 Medicare (notice that this is about 2.5 times commercial patients)
  • $  846.85 Commercial
  • $  450.58 Medicaid

These figures are “per member per year” and based on Express Scripts’ database.  This is a free report available full text on the web.  It includes an interesting recap of key events affecting pharmaceutical utilization and expenditures from 1993 (the first year that this report was published) to the present.  In 2012, for instance, the “patent cliff” occurred, in which patents expired on a large number of prescription drugs.  This will have a beneficial effect on health care costs, since these previously patent-protected drugs will be challenged by lower priced generics.

Source: Express Scripts.  2012 Drug Trend Report, Mar. 2013.  Click here for full text: http://drugtrendreport.com/docs/ExpressScripts_DTR_0320.pdf Posted by AHA Resource Center (312) 422-2050, rc@aha.org

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