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Newsletter Article


Health Spending in Industrialized Countries Is Slowly Picking Up After the Global Recession

Correspondent: Roosa Tikkanen

A new report finds that health spending grew 3.4 percent in 2016 across 36 countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the fastest rate since 2009. This rate remains lower than before the financial crisis, when health spending grew around 4 percent to 6 percent per year across countries. While long-term care was the fastest-growing spending area before the financial crisis, spending on outpatient care (up 4.4%) has now outpaced growth in long-term care spending (up 3%) and inpatient care spending (up 2.2%). Retail pharmaceutical spending has remained flat or negative in previous years but is now back on a growth path, at around 3 percent per year on average across OECD countries. This trend is partly the result of the introduction of expensive hepatitis C and oncology drugs.

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