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Prescription Drug Spending Hits Record $425 Billion in U.S.

Spending on prescription drugs in the U.S. rose 12 percent to a record $425 billion before discounts last year, boosted in part by the introduction of breakthrough medicines for cancer and the growing number of patients seeking treatment for hepatitis C.

While net growth slowed as pharmaceutical companies offered more rebates and patient assistance programs to help cover the costs, spending will continue to rise at a steady mid-single-digit rate through 2020, when it’s expected to hit $610 million to $640 million, according to a report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics.