Spending on prescription medicines in the U.S. fell for the first time in decades last year, slipping as cash-strapped consumers continued to cut back on use of health care services.
Patients also benefited from a surge of new, inexpensive generic versions of widely used drugs for chronic conditions like high cholesterol, according to a new report.
Total spending on medications dropped to $325.8 billion last year from $329.2 billion in 2011. Likewise, average spending per person on medicines fell by $33, to $898 last year, according to the report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.
"That's the first time IMS has ever measured the decline in the 58 years we've been monitoring drugs," Michael Kleinrock, director of research development at the institute, told The Associated Press. Continue reading "U.S. medicine spending shows rare dip in 2012"