Rising price of specialty drugs impacts benefits costs for employers

As an employer responsible for providing health benefits to your workforce, the rising cost of specialty drugs should be among your top concerns when it comes to controlling the cost of benefits. Total medical spending for a business consists of medical costs and pharmacy costs. The pharmacy cost portion used to represent about 18-22% of that total cost for employers. Today, that number is closer to 35-45%.

What accounts for this average 20% increase in pharmacy costs? A good portion is due to the sharp increase in the price of specialty drugs—a trend that is only expected to grow.

According to the Commonwealth Fund, “One of the country’s largest pharmacy benefits managers projects the price of specialty drug will increase between 21-24% annually over the next three years.”

Despite these startling statistics, employers don’t seem to be giving this issue the attention it deserves. From the Commonwealth Fund:


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