Statin spending spikes nearly $12B in five years

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Spending on statins has jumped from $7.7 billion in 2000 to $19.7 billion in 2005, according to a report from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), which falls under the control of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Overall, spending on the cholesterol-lowering drugs increased 156 percent between 2000 and 2005, according to the AHRQ. During that five-year period, the number of people who bought at least one statin went from approximately 16 million to 30 million. The number of outpatient prescriptions increased from about 90 million to 174 million.
The average spending per statin user increased from $484 to $661, the report stated.

Although the sales of the top-selling statin Lipitor have dropped by 7 percent in the first quarter of 2008, the demand for statins most likely will continue to rise with the U.K. National Institute for Clinical Excellence’s widespread recommendation of preventive statin usage.