Specialty Medications: Traditional And Novel Tools Can Address Rising Spending On These Costly Drugs

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Spending on specialty medications is growing by more than 15 percent annually, and it is expected to account for approximately half ($235 billion) of total annual pharmacy spending by 2018. Among the numerous reasons for the high cost of this heterogeneous group of medications are the increasing size of target patient populations, the high cost of drug development, and a complex and uncoordinated delivery system. This article describes the evolution of the specialty market, characterize the current state of specialty medication use, and articulate key challenges and potential solutions. It also explores a variety of traditional and novel management approaches, such as prior authorization, step therapy, tiered formularies, administration at lower-cost sites, and the unique tools being developed for cancer medications.

Resource Details

Date: Oct 2014
Author: Health Affairs