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Improving Health

Improving Health Outcomes and Driving Value in Health Care Tremendous medical advances in recent years demonstrate the important role medicines play in treating many debilitating diseases and conditions. But prescription medicines are not only improving and saving the lives of millions of patients, they are also driving substantial value in the United States health care system. Unlike most other health care services, medicines when used appropriately allow patients to avoid other costlier services, such as emergency room visits, hospital stays, surgeries, and long-term care. Likewise, medicines produce substantial savings in avoided health care costs. Moving forward, medicines will continue to provide the best opportunity to improve health outcomes and drive value and quality in health care. Importantly, even as remarkable advances in medicine over the years have yielded incredible value for patients and society, spending on prescription medicines has remained a small share of total health care expenditures. In fact, retail prescription medicines account for the 18 Improving Health Outcomes and Driving Value in Health Care

works to control the costs of medicines (see sidebar: Market Dynamics Contain Costs of Prescription Medicines). same percentage of health care spending today as in 1960—just 10%. 1 And total spending (retail and nonretail) on medicines is projected to remain stable as a percentage of total health care spending (13 to 14%) in the years ahead, even as numerous new medicines are brought to patients (see Figure 5). 2,3 This is possible because the competitive marketplace in the United States Not only do medicines allow patients to live longer, healthier lives and avoid serious complications and associated medical costs, but they also allow patients to more actively engage in the workforce and the economy at large. Despite the many benefits that medicines provide, significant gaps in appropriate use of medicines remain. However, where there are gaps there are also opportunities to improve patient care. Looking forward, it will remain critically important that the care patients receive provides them with the medicines they need to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives. FIGURE 5: Medicines Are Expected to Account for a Stable Share of Total Health Care Expenditures Through the Next Decade Percentage of National Health Care Expenditures 16% 14% 12% 10% 8% 6% 4% 2% 0% 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 Retail Health Care Expenditures Attributable to Retail and Nonretail Prescription Medicines, 2008-2024 Nonretail 2017 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022 2023 2024 Retail prescription medicines are those filled at retail pharmacies or through mail service. Nonretail prescription medicines are those purchased through physicians' offices, clinics, and hospitals and are typically administered to the patient by the provider. Source: Altarum Institute. Center for Sustainable Health Spending data brief: a ten year projection of the prescription drug share of national health expenditures including non-retail. http:// Published October 2014; addendum update August 2015. Accessed April 2016. Improving Health Outcomes and Driving Value in Health Care 19

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