By Trudy Lieberman
Special to The SUN
There’s no getting around it. Americans are using more medications and spending more for them. The latest evidence just came from Express Scripts, the pharmacy benefit manager, which acts as a middleman between drug makers and employers. The number of Americans — almost 600,000 — with yearly medication costs of more than $50,000 rose 63 percent from 2013 to 2014. The group of patients with costs over $100,000 nearly tripled.
By any measure, these are huge increases that don’t signal much hope that the U.S. can bring down its medical spending, which is now over 17 percent of the country’s national income. Express Scripts was frank about the long-term impact on employers and others who actually pay most of those bills. It’s an “unsustainable $52 billion a year.”