Citing data released by Express Scripts Holding Co., the St. Louis Post-Dispatch is reporting that for the first time in more than 20 years, there was a decrease last year in U.S. spending on traditional prescription drugs.
The Post-Dispatch says the company's data shows that total spending on traditional prescription drugs - mainly pills taken to treat common diseases - declined 1.5 percent in 2012.
U.S. spending on such medicines remained nearly flat in the nation’s commercially insured population — with an increase of less than 1 percent- in 2010 and 2011.
Express Scripts’ annual drug report is based on an analysis of its 100 million members. The north St. Louis County-based company processed about 1.4 billion prescriptions in 2012.