U.S. spend­ing on pre­scrip­tion drugs rose 8.5% last year, slightly less than in 2014, driven mainly by price hikes and grow­ing use of costly new drugs.

Modern Healthcare - - LATE NEWS -

Data firm IMS Health es­ti­mated that pa­tients, in­sur­ers and fed­eral pay­ers spent a com­bined $309.5 bil­lion last year on pre­scrip­tion medicines. The IMS In­sti­tute for Health­care In­for­mat­ics is fore­cast­ing that an­nual in­creases in U.S. pre­scrip­tion drug spend­ing will slow to be­tween 4% and 7% through 2020, af­ter ris­ing about 10% in each of the past three years. It pre­dicts spend­ing will reach $370 bil­lion to $400 bil­lion by 2020.

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