Medicare spending on pharmaceuticals increased by double digits in recent years, reflecting overall spending trends, according to a new federal report.
The Obama administration found that drug spending on Medicare Part D, the program's prescription drug program, was $121 billion in 2014, a 17 percent increase from 2013.
The spending increase is larger than the boost documented in a March report from the federal government that showed overall prescription drug spending in the U.S. rose by 12 percent from 2013 to 2014.
Data from the administration showed that Medicare spent the most money on Sovaldi, a new hepatitis C cure, with $3 billion for about 7,300 prescriptions.
Coming in second was the heartburn treatment Nexium at $2.6 billion, followed by cholesterol drug Crestor with $2.5 billion.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, which issued the report, also found that claims for prescription drugs increased by 3.3 percent from 2013 to 2014.
The agency noted that the total drug costs for Part D are affected by both the volume of prescriptions filled and the unit prices for the products, but don't reflect any manufacturer rebates or discounts.