Blue Cross member plans spent 73% more on drugs in 2016 than 2010

The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association on Wednesday issued a report detailing a large increase in drug spending.

To compile the report, the association — which comprises 26 independent BCBS companies — examined claims from more than 30 million members nationally, not including Medicare or Medicaid plans. The association also looked at more than $208 billion in prescription drug spending.

The association found its member plans' prescription drug spending increased 73 percent from 2010 to 2016. The company attributed the greater spending to "large year-over-year price increases" on newer drugs with little competition.

Consumers are paying 3 percent more each year in out of pocket costs for prescription drugs and 18 percent more a year for patented medications, according to the report.

Holly Campbell, a spokeswoman for the drug industry lobby group Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America,called the report "misleading" and noted it does not contain information on rebates, according to the Chicago Tribune.

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