Express Scripts Drug Trend Report: U.S. Spending on Specialty Medications Likely to Increase 67 Percent through 2015

Express Scripts Drug Trend Report: U.S. Spending on Specialty Medications Likely to Increase 67 Percent through 2015

U.S. spending on specialty prescription drugs is projected to increase 67 percent by the end of 2015, according to the Drug Trend Report and forecast released today by Express Scripts. 

Prescription drug spending on eight of the top 10 specialty therapy classes will continue to increase over the next three years.  This is due to both the robust pipeline of new biologics and physicians delaying treatment of patients until the new drugs are on the market.  By the end of 2015, Express Scripts expects that cancer, multiple sclerosis, and inflammatory conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis each will command higher drug spending than any other therapy class except diabetes.

Hepatitis C drug spending likely will quadruple over the next three years, the largest percentage increase by far among therapy classes.  By the end of 2015, spending on medications for Hepatitis C will exceed that of much more common conditions, including high blood pressure.  This increase will be caused by new interferon-free medications expected to gain FDA-approval in 2014, as well as an increase in diagnoses related to new screening guidelines.

The Express Scripts three-year drug trend forecast outlines expected changes in overall prescription drug spending among the commercially insured population.  As part of its analysis, the company incorporates historical prescription drug cost and utilization trends from Express Scripts’ pharmacy claims data, the pipeline for emerging therapies, anticipated patent expirations, and other clinical and demographic factors.

The complete forecast is available at www.DrugTrendReport.com.