In 2015, Health Spending Surges in the U.S. | NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
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In 2015, Health Spending Surges in the U.S.

Spending on prescription drugs also surged last year



    Rich Pedroncelli/AP
    In this Feb. 18, 2016 file photo, Doctor Leonid Basovich, left, examines Medi-Cal patient Michael Epps, at the WellSpace Clinic in Sacramento, California.

    In 2015, Americans spent $3.2 trillion on medical expenses, up by 5.8 percent since 2014, NBC News reported.

    Experts say there are also indications that health spending increased because people sought medical treatment for diseases they previously ignored because of lack of resources, according to a report released Friday by the Office of the Actuary at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services

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    Spending on prescription drugs also surged last year, with a nine percent increase since 2014.

    "Recent rapid growth was due to increased spending for new medicines (particularly for specialty drugs such as those used to treat hepatitis C), price growth in existing brand-name drugs, increased spending on generics, and a decrease in the number of expensive blockbuster drugs whose patents expired," the CMS report read.