Antiviral drugs, including therapies for hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV, remained the most consistently costly drug group by Medicaid spending over a 4-year study period, according to a recent Kaiser Family Foundation analysis.
The analysis examined Medicaid outpatient prescription drug utilization in terms of prescriptions and spending before rebates over the 2014 to 2017 period.
Medicaid outpatient spending before rebates increased from $45.9 billion in 2014 to $63.6 billion in 2017, growing a total of 39%, according to the analysis. Overall, spending on outpatient services increased by 21% in 2015 and an additional 11% in 2016, but grew more slowly in 2017. However, the study authors noted that they anticipate this spending to grow faster than other Medicaid services over the next 10 years. Additionally, utilization grew from 621.7 million prescriptions in 2014 to 752.9 million in 2017, increasing a total of 21% over the study period.