Facts and figures, August 2013
Close to 70 percent of Americans are on at least one prescription drug, and more than half take two drugs, according to Mayo Clinic and Olmsted Medical Center researchers. Twenty percent of patients are on five or more medications. The most commonly prescribed were antibiotics, antidepressants, and painkilling opioids.
In general, women and older adults receive more prescriptions. Vaccines, antibiotics, and anti-asthma drugs are most commonly prescribed in people younger than 19. Antidepressants and opioids are most common among young and middle-aged adults. Cardiovascular drugs are most commonly prescribed in older adults. Women receive more prescriptions than men across several drug groups, especially antidepressants. Nearly one in four women between the ages of 50 to 64 are on an antidepressant.
Prescription drug use has increased steadily in the United States for the past decade. The percentage of people who took at least one prescription drug in the past month increased from 44 percent in 1999-2000 to 48 percent in 2007-08. Spending on prescription drugs reached $250 billion in 2009, the year studied, and accounted for 12 percent of total personal health care expenditures. Drug-related spending is expected to continue to grow in the coming years, according to the researchers.
Pharmas tend to focus attention on market research in Phase IIIa to market approval and on health economics and outcomes research from launch to six months post-launch, according to a Cutting Edge Information study. The study, “Launching Pharmaceutical Brands: Formulas for Commercialization Success,” found that between market approval and launch, market research and health economics and outcomes research even out, receiving 11 percent and 10 percent of the average budget, respectively. Market access categories’ financial support lessens from launch to six months post-launch. During that timeframe, health economics and outcomes research becomes the market access priority with 9 percent of the average total budget, while market research receives only 6 percent.
This does not necessarily translate into companies following the same patterns across the board when launching products, says David Richardson, research manager, Cutting Edge Information. “There are definitely things that could go in the ‘launch playbook’ that have to do with gaining approval, earning reimbursement from payers, etc.,” he told Med Ad News.
Surveyed brands focused on market access throughout the commercialization and launch process, though specific attentions changed from Phase IIIa to post-launch. According to Cutting Edge Information, pharmas must support many different commercialization efforts to ensure a brand’s successful launch. During the early stages of commercialization -- Phase IIIa to market approval -- surveyed companies allocate an average of 17 percent of their budget to market research. This category is the highest financial priority among market access concerns.
Posted: August 2013