CHIA Examines Prescription Drug Use and Spending in New Report

DATE : August 27, 2018

The Center for Health Information and Analysis today released its first report on prescription drug use and spending in an effort to shine a light on the drivers of pharmacy spending, including high volume and high cost drugs.


The report concentrates on the top 10 therapeutic classes of drugs, as ranked by total expenditures incurred during fiscal year 2015. These classes accounted for 71.3% of pharmacy expenditures during that time period. In addition to presenting average costs by therapeutic class, the report contains detailed pages for each class, showing average costs for the top five most frequently prescribed drugs within the class.


In the 2017 Annual Report on the Performance of the Massachusetts Health Care System, CHIA identified pharmacy spending as a major component of total health care expenditures in Massachusetts, representing over 18% of commercial spending in 2015 and 2016.


CHIA’s future reporting on pharmacy spending by therapeutic class will also incorporate analyses of changes over time to help identify shifting patterns of prescription drug utilization and costs.


This report is accompanied by a databook and a technical appendix. For more, please visit


See CHIA's Prescription Drug Use and Spending Report including Technical Appendix and Databook