Report: cancer drug spend rises, metabolic scripts jump
Spending on cancer treatments is rising much faster than for other common pharmaceuticals, a report issued on Monday said.
Spending on cancer and related medications rose by 15 percent in 2004, nearly double the increase in 2003, according to a report from Medco Health Solutions.
Increased use of Novartis' Gleevec and AstraZeneca's Iressa accounted for most of the jump, the report said.
The report also found that Americans with metabolic syndrome account for $4 of every $10 spent on prescription drugs for adults.
Annual prescription costs for people 20 and older with metabolic syndrome averaged $4,116 last year, 4.2 times the average amount spent on drugs for that age group, the Medco
Adult use of medication for metabolic syndrome -- a condition marked by excess abdominal fat, diabetes, high blood pressure and cholesterol problems -- jumped 36 percent between 2002 and 2004.
Medco reached its findings by examining prescription records from a random sample of 2 million clients.