(HealthDay News) — Drug costs are projected to rise 3–5% across all care settings in 2014, according to a study published in the March 15 issue of the American Journal of Health-System Pharmacy.

Glen T. Schumock, PharmD, PhD, from the University of Illinois in Chicago, and colleagues utilized data from the IMS Health National Sales Perspectives database. Quantitative and qualitative analyses, along with expert opinion, were used to identify trends in pharmaceutical expenditures and drivers likely to influence future spending.

The researchers found that, for the 12 months ending September 2013, total prescription sales were approximately $326 billion, 0.7% lower than sales during the previous 12 months. There was 4.5 and 1.8% growth in pharmaceutical spending by clinics and nonfederal hospitals, respectively. Large sales increases in clinic settings were driven by vaccines. For hospitals and clinics, few new drug approvals anticipated in 2014 are expected to result in major expenditures. Growth in pharmaceutical spending over the next 12–24 months may be driven by expansion of access to health care, as well as continued improvement in the U.S. economy.

“Growth in U.S. prescription drug expenditures is expected to rebound in 2014, with a projected 3–5% increase in total drug expenditures across all settings this year, including a 5–7% increase in clinic spending and a 1–3% increase in hospital spending,” the author write.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.

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