Prescription drug spending increases 10.7% in 2003

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Prescription drug spending increases are slowing down, according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

Spending increased 10.7% in 2003, down from 14.9% in 2002. A number of factors contributed to the decline, such as corporate and insurance company efforts to negotiate discounts with drug companies and drug stores. Consumers are also using generic drugs more frequently. State laws to reduce Medicaid and pension costs are also adding to the slowed spending.

Drug costs still account for more than 10% of healthcare spending in the U.S.