Drug costs aren’t the main reason US spends so much on healthcare, study finds

Maia Anderson –
Wednesday, September 30th, 2020

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In 2018, the U.S. invested $1,397 per capita on drugs, compared to $884 in comparable countries. Even if per capita prescription drug pricing is decreased and closer to comparable nations, that difference would just make a damage in the general difference in healthcare spending, the report stated..

Payments to health centers and doctors– not drug prices– are the primary factor the U.S. spends so much more on healthcare than other rich nations, in spite of much of the national conversation around health care costs being focused on drug costs, according to a report launched by the Peterson Center on Healthcare and the Kaiser Family Foundation..

The U.S. spends about twice as much per individual on healthcare than other rich nations, with approximately $10,637 per capita in 2018 compared to $5,527 in other countries..

Seventy-six percent of the difference in costs was due to inpatient and outpatient care. Drug costs made up just 10 percent of the difference..