Cost Pressures Push Drugs

January 16, 2001 ( - While prescription drug costs have increased, they are still just 8.5% of total US healthcare expenses according to a new study.

The data suggests that health care practitioners may be shifting treatment emphasis from physician and hospital treatments to drugs, compared with a decade ago when prescription drugs represented just 5.5% of total healthcare spending. 

Cost pressures were credited with the trend by the Tufts Center for the Study of Drug Development.

Today Americans still spend nearly three times as much on physician services, and nearly four times as much on hospital expenditures.  Over the past ten years, hospital expenditures declined from nearly 37% to 33%, while spending on physician services remained nearly constant.