Prescription Drugs

Commercial Prescription Drug Use & Spending, 2015-2017

For Additional Information,
see CHIA's Annual Report

CHIA annual report cover

CHIA has released its second study on prescription drug use and spending in an effort to shine a light on the drivers of pharmacy expenditures, including high volume and high cost drugs.

To advance transparency into this sector of the health care market for policymakers, researchers, and the public, CHIA has published an interactive dashboard and detailed dataset, allowing users to see drivers of prescription drug spending as well as the associated conditions these drugs treat.

Key Findings

For this analysis, CHIA used a subset of commercial pharmacy claims from the agency’s All Payer Claims Database (APCD) to identify high volume and high cost drugs between 2015 and 2017. During this three-year period:

  • Ten therapeutic classes of drugs, which include antivirals, antiasthmatics, cardiovascular, and psychotherapeutic drugs, accounted for over 70% of pharmacy expenditures.

  • Anti-inflammatory TNF inhibiting agents, a class of drugs that includes Humira and Enbrel, accounted for the largest proportion of spending.

  • The most frequently prescribed drug during the three year period was Lisinopril, an ACE inhibitor that treats high blood pressure and heart failure.


For additional information, including the methods and data used to produce this dashboard, see the accompanying technical appendix and dataset.


Commercial Prescription Drug Use and Spending, 2015-2017


Previous Pharmacy and prescription Drug cost-Related Publications