Photo: Associated Press

It’s a perfect storm for drug spending this year: fewer pharmaceutical patents are expiring in 2014, and Obamacare is making drugs more affordable to more people. The upshot: nearly 12 percent increase in drug spending by year-end in the United States.

That’s what a report from the IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics says. Worldwide, drug sales spiked this year, recording an increase in absolute growth from $40 billion in 2013 to $70 billion. The extra driver of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act put the U.S. in the driver’s seat of the uptick.

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Dan Cook

Dan Cook is a journalist and communications consultant based in Portland, OR. During his journalism career he has been a reporter and editor for a variety of media companies, including American Lawyer Media, BusinessWeek, Newhouse Newspapers, Knight-Ridder, Time Inc., and Reuters. He specializes in health care and insurance related coverage for BenefitsPRO.

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