Spending on prescription drugs rose by 12.6% in 2014 and is projected to rise by an average 7.3% annually through 2018, according to a new report by the Department of Health and Human Services. The total number of prescriptions rose about 11% between 2010 and 2014, while expenditures rose 26% during the period. “The fact that total expenditures rose more quickly than the number of prescriptions suggests that prices are growing faster than quantities,” the report states. “Therefore price changes are contributing more to the growth in spending than is growth in volume of prescriptions.” Spending on specialty drugs, as defined by the CVS/Caremark formulary, rose by an average 11.2% annually between 2010 and 2014, accounting for about 12% of the growth in retail drug spending over the period.