News on Wellness

Specialty Drugs Cost Likely to Keep Increasing

Specialty Drugs

A recent report released by a major drug research firm shows that the prices of specialty drugs that treat diseases like hepatitis C, cancer, tumor, and so on, are likely to increase further. This is despite the recent reduction in prescription drug prices. This report follows two reports that have already been released by two pharmaceutical major benefit managers. They had predicted that the small population who has these diseases will have to spend more on the so-called specialty drugs.

Specialty Drugs

This report was released by The IMS Institute for Healthcare Informatics has also reported that the number hospital admissions, visits the doctor as well as usage of prescription drugs has increased in the year 2013. This shows that the economy is improving after a decline for continuously 3 years. The executive director of IMS Institute, Murrey Aitken has stated that usage of drugs has increased all over United States and this increase was seen even before the affordable care act was initiated and went fully effective.

The report stated that, though more people are using the Healthcare System, there is a vast gap between generic drug prices against specialty drug prices. The data showed that on an average, less than $5 was spent by almost 86% of people on these generic medicines. Out of this, 86%, 26% were free drugs covered by the new Health Care Law. People with special diseases paid very high amounts with only 2.3% of the prescriptions being out of pocket costs.

The reason attributed is that the drug companies have started focusing on small and complex diseases as the competition in generic drugs is very intense and there are many cheaper versions. Data show that in 2013 alone 36 new drugs were introduced, out of which 10 of them were for cancer. 17 drugs were for orphan diseases and one each for diabetes, multiple sclerosis and hepatitis C.

Carolyn F. Pearson, vice president of Avalere Health informs that these new drugs are specialized and tailored hence expensive. She also stated that even in health plans, these high-cost medicines are usually burdened on patients.

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