Observations on the Express Scripts 2014 Drug Trend Report

2014 Drug Trend

Observations on the Express Scripts 2014 Drug Trend Report

Express Scripts, UBC’s parent company, recently released the 2014 Drug Trend Report. This report garners a lot of attention from the healthcare world each year. Although the primary message is to a payer audience, the report contains several important takeaways for pharmaceutical manufacturers. Here are three observations I’d like to share:

Management creates affordability for future treatments
Unprecedented changes, like the incredible growth we’re seeing in the specialty space, is also prompting unprecedented responses. More payers are choosing to actively manage specialty spend, especially in key therapeutic areas. Management of specialty categories can certainly create angst, but when you consider the big picture it’s also important to remember that it is a process that enables affordability for the many new drugs that are in the pipeline. We all share the desire to see patients have affordable and predictable access to revolutionary treatment options, and many of them will directly benefit patients with rare diseases.

Adherence continues to be a challenge
The report also shines a light on the challenge and opportunity around adherence. The percent of patients who are nonadherent to life-saving therapies continues to be staggering. Oncology is a prime example. One would assume that patient motivation to take these medications would be very high, but the report confirms a challenge that many of us are keenly aware of by showing that 38.2% of patients are nonadherent to oral oncology medications. Fortunately, we have found a number of ways to improve adherence within any given disease state and we routinely work with manufacturers to develop programs based on our clinical expertise.

Healthcare is increasingly complex
More than anything, the report demonstrates the growing complexities within our healthcare system. These complexities are not lost on the millions of patients seeking treatment, which is why high-touch interventions are more important than ever. Whether that entails navigating a patient through the reimbursement process, providing free goods through a Patient Assistance Program or leveraging the clinical expertise in Accredo’s Therapeutic Resource CentersSM, our team can simplify the process and provide an integrated program to support patients throughout their journey.

I would be happy to discuss these observations or any others related to your medication or therapy class with you. Contact me to discuss how we can capitalize on the wealth of industry expertise within the Express Scripts family of companies.