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Express Scripts Publishes Inaugural Drug Trend Quarterly

According to new data released by Express Scripts (ESRX), price inflation of branded pharmaceutical drugs is far outpacing overall economic inflation. The Express Scripts 2012 third-quarter Drug Trend Quarterly reviews year-to-date and quarter-over-quarter changes in national drug spending for all major therapy classes. The report is the first publication to reflect the combined data of both Express Scripts and Medco.

The Express Scripts Prescription Price Index demonstrated that since September 2011, price inflation for the most highly utilized brand-name medications was over six times greater than overall economic price inflation for consumer goods.

Pursuant to the Express Scripts Prescription Price Index, prices on a market basket of the most highly utilized brand-name medications grew 13.3 percent from September 2011 to September 2012, far outpacing the overall economic inflation level of 2.0 percent. During the same timeframe, prices of generic medications were down 21.9 percent. The price gap between brand-name and generic medications widened an additional 35.2 percentage points from September 2011 to September 2012, the largest one-year increase Express Scripts has recorded.

Based on Express Scripts claims data for commercially-insured members, the inaugural quarterly report quantifies changes in utilization, unit costs and overall prescription drug spending across the first three quarters of 2012.

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