The average annual percentage increase in drug cost expenditures reported in 2011 was 5.5% (Figure 47). Only 16% of respondents had a negative trend (decrease in drug spend) while 84% had a positive trend (increase in drug spend). The median negative trend was -4.0% while the largest negative trend was -19.6%. The most common positive trends were 5% and 8% while the largest reported trend was 25%.This trend range reflects the varying plan designs and utilization management programs used by the survey respondents.
Due to the large number of brand drugs coming off patent, generic fill rates (GFR) have increased in both retail and mail since 2005, as shown in Figure 48. It is important to not make conclusions about the effectiveness of mail or retail pharmacy to promote generics based on this data as the mix of drugs dispensed in the two types of pharmacies is very different. The growth in GFR is expected to continue in 2012 and 2013 as popular brand drugs' patents expire.
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