US hospital drug spending for 2020-2021 expected to increase 3.59%

30 January 2020

Texas, USA-based Vizient has released its Winter 2020 Drug Price Forecast projecting that health systems, including inpatient and non-acute environments, can expect a 3.59% increase for pharmaceutical purchases made from July 1 to June 30, 2021.

While the forecasted percentage is lower than previous projections, the influence of expensive biologic therapies, oncology and oncology-related drugs, disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs (DMARDs), and immunomodulators on overall spend by health systems remains quite substantial. The Drug Price Forecast can be accessed  here.

Although biologic drugs dominate many aspects of spend, the forecast also notes that certain small-molecule medications will have a substantial cost impact on health systems. Two of these are intravenous (IV) acetaminophen and vasopressin. For IV acetaminophen, market exclusivity and patent protection are expected to expire in December 2020, and there will likely be numerous abbreviated new drug applications (ANDAs) and 505(b)(2) versions of this product entering the market. This level of competition should bring meaningful pricing relief in 2021. In the case of vasopressin, while market exclusivity has expired for this drug, numerous patents could protect it from competition until 2035.

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