Express Scripts Drug Trend Quarterly Provides Overview of U.S. Specialty Drug Spending for 2012

Express Scripts Drug Trend Quarterly Provides Overview of U.S. Specialty Drug Spending for 2012

The Express Scripts Drug Trend Report was the first of its kind when initially published in 1997.  This year, by transitioning the report to a quarterly publication, Drug Trend Quarterly, Express Scripts is providing more timely and actionable data to its clients. 

The inaugural quarterly report quantifies changes in utilization, unit costs, and overall prescription drug spending across the first three quarters of 2012, based on Express Scripts claims data for commercially-insured members.

Within the report, the Specialty Drugs page provides insightful information for our pharma clients.  We hope you’ll take a look.  Here are some things we’ve learned:

  • Specialty drug trend continues its year-over-year double-digit growth.  During the first three quarters of 2012, spending on specialty medications increased 22.6 percent over the same period in 2011. 
     
  • The three therapy classes representing the largest amount of specialty drug spend continue to be rheumatoid arthritis/autoimmune conditions, multiple sclerosis, and cancer.
     
  • Medications commonly used to treat hepatitis C continue to have the largest specialty spend increase, 117.3 percent over the same period in 2011. Increased utilization is driving this trend, as new patients begin and continue treatment with one of two new medications.
     
  • Eight of the nine notable new medications approved in the third quarter are specialty medications. Many of these medications are second-line and third-line drugs indicated to treat advanced cancers.