Hospital spending on pharmaceuticals grew 5% last year, or one percentage point less than in 1992, according to projections released last week.
Hospitals spent nearly $10 billion on pharmaceutical supplies in 1993, compared with about $9.5 billion in 1992, said IMS America, a Plymouth Meeting, Pa.-based firm that tracks hospital spending on drugs and supplies.
The slower growth continues a downward trend that started in 1991, when hospital drug spending increased 16%.
The slowdown reflects a number of factors, said Susan Koch, an IMS analyst. Those factors might include declining hospital admissions, the growing use of less expensive generic drugs, and smaller price increases from manufacturers, Ms. Koch said.
IMS bases its figures on monthly surveys of the nation's drug wholesalers and of 380 hospitals. The projections reflect spending by acute-care and psychiatric hospitals, but exclude purchases by federally owned facilities, long-term-care facilities, managed-care organizations, clinics and surgery centers.
This week, the company expects to complete its 1993 projections for spending on medical-surgical supplies and equipment.