The pharmaceutical industry--to whom is it accountable?


Angell M.

Year Published: 



N Engl J Med.


Study Design: 


The pharmaceutical industry is under mounting scrutiny because of rapidly increasing expenditures for drugs in the United States. Drug expenditures are now the fastest-growing component of health care costs, increasing at the rate of about 15 percent per year.1,2 They account for about 8 percent of health care spending, and at their current rate of increase, they will soon surpass spending for physicians' services and, for many health maintenance organizations (HMOs), the costs of hospitalization. The increase is due both to a greater use of drugs and to higher prices for individual drugs.