Summary Box: Drug spending nearly flat in 2011

AP News
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Posted: Apr 04, 2012 1:33 PM
Summary Box: Drug spending nearly flat in 2011

SLUMPING SALES: Prescription drug sales edged up just 0.5 percent last year, after adjusting for inflation and population growth. Such slow growth and even some declines started in 2007.

BIG SQUEEZE: Seniors and other patients are forgoing some care amid the continuing weak economy. Only newly insured young adults boosted their prescription use in 2011.

OTHER FACTORS: Use of cheaper generic pills rose, as the first of a slew of blockbuster drugs started getting generic competition. But high prices for the record number of newly approved drugs, 34, countered that somewhat.