Viewpoint: Is the growth in our drug tab sustainable?
March 19, 2007
The levels of drug use and expenditures have changed dramatically in the past 150 years. From 1857 to 1929, information on these trends was largely anecdotal in nature. It was only in 1929 that the Department of Commerce reported its first annual census of prescription drug distribution. This was followed, in 1932, by the first annual financial analysis of independent pharmacies, supported by Eli Lilly. Then in 1939, Drug Topics conducted its first annual prescription census, using a representative sample of drugstores from every state. What follows are some observations about trends in drug pricing, using the sources cited above as well as others.