Projections of the Prescription Drug Share of National Health Expenditures Including Non-Retail—June 2019

Research Brief | June 13, 2019 | Charles Roehrig, PhD

This data brief augments the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) most recent annual ten-year projection of prescription drug expenditures (which is part of CMS' larger projection of national health expenditures). In our report, we estimate non-retail prescription drug spending to form a projection of total (retail plus non-retail) spending as a share of national health expenditures.

We find that when estimating total prescription drug expenditures rather than retail alone, using 2018 as an example, the share of total national health expenditures accounted for by drugs is 13.9%, not 9.4%.

The primary data source for the non-retail estimates is the annual IQVIA (formerly IMS) report.

Our approach to estimating the non-retail component builds upon the detailed methodology described in last year's report with modifications to accommodate changes in the data made available in the 2019 IQVIA report. 

Download the report on the left to view our complete findings and an explanation of our methods.

View our previous reports on this topic from 2018 and 2017


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