Specialty Drugs – generally referring to drugs costing over $600 per month – are estimated to account for 30% of total drug costs and expected to reach 50% by 2018. These drugs are expensive to develop and pose challenges manufacturing. However they target life altering illnesses making them an absolute must if needed. These patients have chronic illnesses and are expected to be on medication for years.
The average cost of a specialty drug is $10,000 per month for a patient. (That’s not a typo – stat is provided by a principle of the Institute for Integrated Healthcare). Thus cost management is crucial to trying to hold down pharmacy costs. Strategies include requiring prior authorizations to assure the expensive drugs are the best fit and tiered out-of-pocket cost are two of the most common.
A special thanks to SHRM – Content and video from the Article The Looming Rx Threat by Tamara Lytle.