Spending on aging medications exceeding that of some chronic disease treatment

APHA: 10/30/12


San Francisco, Calif., – The cost of searching for the fountain of youth has become increasingly expensive and now exceeds the cost for medications used to treat chronic disease, according to new research released today at the American Public Health Association’s 140th Annual Meeting in San Francisco, Calif.

The research suggests that cost and utilization of medications to treat conditions considered a normal part of aging, including those related to hormone replacement therapy, sexual dysfunction and mental alertness, are becoming so popular that they now rank third for cost impact only behind diabetes and cholesterol among commercially insured patients.

Researchers at Express Scripts in St. Louis looked at trends in prescriptions filled for aging medications among those commercially insured and found that in 2011 alone, per member cost for aging medications ($73.30) was 16 percent greater than the amount spent on both high blood pressure and heart disease medications ($62.80). The cost for diabetes medications was $81.12 and high cholesterol medications was $78.38.  The cost for aging medications increased 46 percent from 2006.  Read more