According to the recently released 2015 Drug Trend report by Express Scripts, specialty medications are a key driver in projected increases in overall drug spend. While only a small percentage of the population use specialty drugs (about 1-2%), they account for 37% of drug spend in 2015, a number which is expected to increase to 50% by 2018. Inflammatory conditions, MS and oncology make up more than half of the nation’s spend on specialty medications. Hepatitis C and HIV came in at #4 and #5 respectively. Programs to help manage these complex disease states will be important tools to achieve clinical, operational and financial efficiency in the new year.
Based on information in the report, total drug spending is forecasted to increase 6-8% between 2016 and 2018 while specialty drug spending is forecasted to increase an average of 17% annually over the next three years. Managing specialty drugs will be a key part of benefit management programs in 2016 and on, especially for those payors specializing in oncology services.
Some good news from the report, U.S. drug spending increased 5.2% in 2015- half the rate that it did in 2014. Traditional spend decreased .1% while specialty spend went up 17.8%, contributing to a total trend of 5.2%. This may be due to payors putting in cost-saving programs to help keep drug spend pricing down.
You can read the entire drug trend report from Express Scripts here.
PharMedQuest is a national leader in providing proven cost-effective solutions to some of the most challenging issues in healthcare. We are dedicated to providing transparent and innovative drug management solutions that optimize the clinical, operational and financial complexities of medical specialty drug management for cancer and other complex and rare diseases.
With over 20 years of Experience, PharMedQuest delivers Insight and Value to its Clients through its services, which include holistic Medical Benefit drug management, real-time access to integrated drug utilization and financial metrics and intelligence, comprehensive 340B management, and many other integrated Pharmacy and Medical solutions that go beyond traditional PBM, Specialty Pharmacy, or Utilization Management tools. For more information about PharMedQuest services, call (714) 364-4008 or visit us at http://www.PharMedQuest.com.