Driven by expenditures on new drugs, spending on medicine was up 3.7 percent over 2010; on a real capita basis, the increase measured 0.5 percent. The gains were tempered as some Americans avoided doctor visits and prescription use.
The report, from IMS Health, a healthcare information and services company, pegged overall U.S. spending at $320 billion in 2011.
People from the ages of 19-25, who were allowed to remain covered by their parents insurance, increased prescription use and doctor visits, while those 65 and older saw decreases in those same areas.
"2011 was a remarkable year for the volume of drug breakthroughs that became available to millions of Americans," said Michael Kleinrock, director, Research Development, IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
"At the same time, some troubling trends that began in 2009 persisted with many patients appearing to ration their medical care. The implications of fewer doctor visits and lower drug utilization on patients' health have yet to play out and require further study," he added.
by RTT Staff Writer
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