Specialty treatment use on the rise

Posted on: Friday, April 27, 2012

The results of a new report that was recently presented at the 24th Annual Meeting and Expo of the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy say health insurers should use medical and pharmacological data to determine whether specialty medication treatments will improve health outcomes for patients and insurance customers.

According to the report, specialty prescription drug medication use has increased in the past several years, accounting for more than 15 percent of all prescription benefit expenses for Prime Therapeutics, the company which authored the study. Furthermore, the average cost for every prescription made was higher than $2,600 in 2010. Past studies have indicated specialty medication drug expenditures could jump as much as 20 to 50 percent 18 years from now.

Patrick Gleason, director of clinical outcomes assessment at Prime, said the new data suggests health insurers need to get a better handle on how much specialty treatments cost, as this can ultimately impact their bottom line.

"Specialty drugs offer life-saving treatment for patients with chronic illnesses, but they also carry a huge price tag, continuing to rise by double digits each year," said Gleason. Health insurers and plan sponsors need to be able to forecast these costs and also ensure the best outcomes for their members."

Posted In: Insurance News, Health Insurance

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