Growth in Prescription Drug Spending Since 1961

A few days ago I posted a chart showing the annual growth rate of spending on prescription drugs. However, it only went back to 2001 because I couldn’t find annual data going farther back than that and didn’t have time to a serious search.

This morning, while I was looking for something else, I accidentally ran into a Kaiser page that has annual data back to 1960. So I figured I might as well update the chart. Keep in mind that this doesn’t show price increases for prescription drugs. It just shows how much we spend on them, and that can go up and down for numerous reasons. Still, it’s interesting to see.