In 1990, there were 10 injectable specialty drugs
on the market which grew to 300 by 2015, according to the American Journal of Managed Care.
The FDA approved 10 times as many 6 347 6 over the next 26 years, reflecting how the act helped provide the financial incentive to produce these specialty drugs
Most specialty drugs
treat chronic or complex illnesses that affect less than 3% of the general population, but they come with a significant price tag--these patients account for 25% to 30% of a company's overall medical costs.
These costs are expected to increase; according to most industry estimates, specialty drugs
will represent over 50 percent of total pharmacy costs by 2017.
For many years, specialty drugs
were referred to as high-cost injectables.
A specialty benefits manager combines many of the same strategies and tools employed by their prescription benefits peers, with the addition of therapy management and the patient services of a specialty pharmacy to assist health plans in managing their specialty drug
There are a number of factors influencing the impact and growth of specialty pharmacy, according to Lotvin, including a robust pipeline of new specialty drugs
coming to market, many with high launch prices; higher annual price inflation for existing brand-name dmgs; and expanding indications for older therapies.
Because of the complexity involved in delivering specialty drugs
, related costs are often paid through the medical benefit, rather than the pharmacy benefit.
That continued the upward trend of specialty drug
price increases in the previous nine years (2006 to 2014), which ranged from 3.
The specialty drug
trend and healthcare reform are pushing the industry to evolve," said Kevin Cast, Vice President of Strategy and Contracting for United BioSource Corporation.
The specialty drug
market represents an important growth vehicle for the U.
For example, a specialty drug
therapy for Hepatitis C is effective at reducing the virus, but creates budget challenges for employers, as the typical cost is about $55,000 for a 12-week treatment.