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New Drugs, Greater Utilization Drive Rx Costs

Speaking of pharmaceutical costs, an analysis by Express Scripts/ValueRx, the pharmacy benefit management company, points to new products and increased prescription-drug consumption as factors behind soaring pharmacy expenses.

According to the report, prescription drug costs rose 16.1 percent in 1997, the biggest boost in five years. That hike is led by newer agents, which accounted for only 16.8 percent of utilization, but for 30.6 percent of total drug costs.

SOURCE: PACIFIC BUSINESS GROUP ON HEALTH, SAN FRANCISCO, 1998

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