Report to the President: Prescription Drug Coverage, Spending, Utilization, and Prices.. IMS Health

04/01/2000

IMS Health conducts pharmacy audits to produce estimates of national sales of all pharmaceutical products sold through retail pharmacies. For each individual prescription drug, the IMS data provide information on total units sold during a given period, the acquisition costs paid by pharmacies, and the retail prices paid by three categories of purchasers: those who paid cash (for whom no insurance payment was made at the point of sale), those for whom payment was made by Medicaid, and those for whom payment was made by a third-party insurer. (Note that these categories reflect the source of payment to the pharmacy itself. If someone paid cash for a drug and was later reimbursed by an insurer, as is common under indemnity insurance plans, the transaction falls into the cash category.)

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