Prescription drug rate growth to slow in 2019, increasing 4.92%

Prescription drug rates will increase 4.92% in 2019, researchers from the health care improvement company Vizient estimate. The purchasing data from hospitals and non-acute facilities in the Vizient Pharmacy Program revealed that prescription drug rates for hospitals and health systems are growing at a slower rate compared with the previous year.

Prescription drug rates will increase 4.92% in 2019, researchers from the health care improvement company Vizient estimate. The purchasing data from hospitals and non-acute facilities in the Vizient Pharmacy Program revealed that prescription drug rates for hospitals and health systems are growing at a slower rate compared with the previous year. Vizient had projected drug prices would rise 7.61% in 2018. Although the projected increase for 2019 is less than 2018, drug rates are still growing quickly. "Two key themes we saw were the continued growth of specialty pharmacy products as a share of total spending and the critical importance of ongoing, robust generic and biosimilar competition on restraining overall price growth," said Dan Kistner, PharmD, senior vice president of Pharmacy Solutions for Vizient. Although FDA has approved 11 biosimilars as of June 15, 2018, biosimilar adoption is still low. However, increased competition would lower prescription drug rates. The report noted that almost 80% of the projected price inflation in 2019 will stem from drugs with no competition.