Pharmaceutical Pricing Practices, Utilization and Costs - Meeting Summary. I. What's the Problem? A Synthesis of Research on Pharmaceutical Cost Pressures and Trends


The first session was an overview session highlighting research on recent trends in U.S. prescription drug expenditures and the factors and forces driving these trends. To set the context, three people gave formal presentations:

  • Mark Merlis, M.A., Institute for Health Policy Solutions, reviewed four research studies on the recent double-digit growth in U.S. prescription drug expenditures and factors contributing to that growth.
  • Ernst Berndt, Ph.D., Sloan School of Management, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, hypothesized that four factors, including the expansion of third-party coverage for prescription drugs and aggressive marketing efforts, have contributed to the rapid escalation in U.S. prescription drug expenditures.
  • Francis Palumbo, Ph.D., J.D., Center on Drugs and Public Policy, University of Maryland, presented estimates of the number of new brand-name prescription drugs and generic prescription drugs likely to come on the market by 2004.

The session also included a Panel Discussion and a discussion of Research Questions.