New cost control ideas will be needed in the future
As many as 907 biologics targeting more than 100 conditions are currently in the pipeline, according to the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America (PhRMA). More than one-third are cancer therapeutics, 176 candidates tackle infectious diseases and 58 drugs treat cardiovascular disease.
The annual growth in specialty drug cost is expected to increase 22 % in 2014 and by 67% for specialty drug spending by the end of 2015, according to Express Scripts.
Ruth Opdycke, president, TPG Healthcare Consulting, a pharmacy benefit consulting group based in Glastonbury, Conn., provides her take on how to manage costs for the onslaught of specialty drugs in the U.S. marketplace. She says the management tactics are multi-pronged and include:
Randy Vogenberg, principal, Institute for Integrated Healthcare in Greenville, S.C., is not as optimistic. He says payers really can’t effectively manage drug costs aside from cost shifting, which he believes does not dovetail with an emphasis on the total cost of care and effective patient management and outcomes.
Opdycke anticipates that therapeutic areas, such as breast and lung cancer, lymphomas, hepatitis C, multiple sclerosis and rheumatoid arthritis, will continue to fill the specialty pipeline.
Research conducted by Forbes uncovered what it believes to be the top five most expensive drugs: