Drugs and healthcare spending to double in next 10 years

February 26, 2008

A new report, published in Health Affairs, projects that both healthcare and prescription drug spending will double in the next decade.

Economists and actuaries from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services estimate that prescription drug spending will more than double from $231.3 billion in 2007 to $515.7 billion in 2017. During the same 10-year period, total healthcare spending is projected to nearly double, reaching $4.3 trillion and consuming 19.5% of the nation's gross domestic product (GDP). In 2006 healthcare spending surpassed $2.1 trillion and accounted for 16% of GDP. The federal analysts warn that with health care responsible for an increasing share of the U.S. economy over the next decade, the country faces difficult decisions about how health care is delivered and paid for. Their findings were published in a