Hospital drug spending jumps 8.4% in 2021

The country's total drug spending increased by 7.7 percent in 2021, growing to $576.9 billion, according to a study released April 6 by the American Society of Health-System Pharmacists. 

Hospitals accounted for $39.6 billion of that spending, marking 8.4 percent growth from 2020. Clinics accounted for $105 billion, a 7.7 percent increase

Gilead's COVID-19 therapeutic remdesivir made up nearly 10 percent of what hospitals spent on drugs in 2021. Hospitals' remdesivir spending outpaced the next three drugs combined, according to the study.

"The drug-spending whiplash that clinics and hospitals experienced in the first year of the pandemic did not end with 2021," Eric Tichy, PharmD, division chair of supply chain management at Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic and lead study author, said in a statement. "Uncertainty remains around how long the federal government will continue to pay for COVID treatments, and around inflation, which is moving through most economic sectors."

 

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